Kronos Quartet

Black Angels


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Nonesuch re-releases Kronos Quartet’s award-winning album Black Angels on vinyl to coincide with Kronos Quartet: Five Decades, a year-long celebration of the quartet’s 50th anniversary. First released in 1990, the album features David Harrington (violin), John Sherba, (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Joan Jeanrenaud (cello) performing George Crumb’s title piece, which inspired Harrington to found the quartet in 1973, and works by Charles Ives, István Márta, Thomas Tallis, and Dmitri Shostakovich. Crumb’s title piece, called ‘an unusually elevated and searing Vietnam War protest’ by the New York Times, sets a dark, powerful tone for this collection, which addresses the political/physical/spiritual consequences of war.

The fourth side of the vinyl edition is an etching of an illustration created especially for this purpose by Matt Mahurin, whose work is featured on the original album cover. ‘Stylishly packaged, intelligently programmed, superbly recorded and brilliantly performed’, proclaimed Gramophone. ‘In short, very much the sort of disc we’ve come to expect from the talented and imaginative Kronos Quartet.’ The Evening Standard included it among its ‘100 Definitive Classical Albums of the 20th Century’.

Tracklist

Disc 1:

Side A

1. Black Angels: I. Departure (George Crumb)
2. Black Angels: II. Absence (George Crumb)
3. Black Angels III: Return (George Crumb)

Side B

1. Spem in Alium (Thomas Tallis, arr. Kronos Quartet)
2. Doom. A Sigh (Istvan Marta)
3. They Are There! Fighting for the People's New Free World (Charles Ives)

Disc 2:

Side C

1. Quartet No. 8: I. Largo (Dmitri Shostakovich)
2. Quartet No. 8: II. Allegro molto (Dmitri Shostakovich)
3. Quartet No. 8: III. Allegretto (Dmitri Shostakovich)
4. Quartet No. 8: IV. Largo (Dmitri Shostakovich)
5. Quartet No. 8: V. Largo (Dmitri Shostakovich)

Side D - Etching on Vinyl.