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Kronos Quartet: Early Music (Lachrymae Antigua)

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 20, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Don't get too comfortable with this disc's opening minutes, which sound convincingly like a well-tuned consort of viols performing two short pieces by Machaut and Tye. These two works from the 14th and 16th centuries quickly give way to a piece from 1997 by David Lamb. Then come Arvo Part, Harry Partch, John Cage, and even Moondog, a.k.a. Louis Hardin. Additional instruments come and go- -harmonium, bagpipe, zhong ruan, nyckelharpa, drum--all of which complement and enhance the string sounds. Later, we hear music by Hildegard von Bingen, Perotin, and even Purcell. Most of the selections from early composers are arrangements by the Kronos Quartet and others, but it's a tribute to the recording's producers that in spite of the music's diversity, everything works together to make a coherent, cohesive, intellectually, and musically challenging program. --David Vernier


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Kyrie I0:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Rachell's Weepinge 1:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Laengdans efter Byfans Mats 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Lachrymae Antiquae 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Psalom 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Two Studies on Ancient Greek Scales: 1)Olympos' Pentatonic 2)Archytas' Enharmonic 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Long-Ge 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Totem Ancestor 2:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Kyrie II0:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Brudmarsch Fra Oesta 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Using the Apostate Tyrant As His Tool 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Synchrony No. 2 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Quodlibet 1:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Viderunt Omnes11:46Album Only
15. Kyrie III 1:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Four Part Fantasia No. 2 (June 11, 1680) 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
17. O Virtus Sapiente 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
18. Uleg-Khem 3:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
19. Farwell My Good 1. Forever 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
20. Collected Songs Where Every Verse is Filled with Grief 8:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
21. Bells 1:28$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Kronos Quartet, David Lamb, Joan Jeanrenaud
  • Composer: John Cage, John Dowland, Hildegard of Bingen, Kassia, David Lamb, et al.
  • Audio CD (September 20, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J4S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,496 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Scott Taylor on June 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Yes, there is "old" music on this disc. But works in olden style by John Cage, Arvo Part, et al are also present. Quite a challenging program on the listener - but rewarding as well. I am particularly found of Kronos' setting of Alfred Shnittke's "Collected Songs Where Every Verse is Filled With Grief". Very eclectic recording performed with usual finesse of the Kronos Quartet - and some guests.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "dkfan82" on November 22, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Some critics say that medievel music is boring and depressive. They also say contemporary music is boring and unlistenable. Well, at least with this one they're wrong !
This CD is very unusual and intersting. Unusual because the Kronos Quartet has managed to put works by Christopher Tye (highly recommended) and John Cage on one CD. Believe it or not but it works !
And it's interesting because on this vital mix some composers sound rather conservative (Cage's "Quodlibet"), while others (Peroin) get a refreshingly new and innovative sound.
Unfortunetly the booklet contains no info on how and why the likes of David Harrington et al came up with the idea of recording this hybrid mix but on the other hand it would probably destroy the magic of this record.
This CD will open new and exciting worlds for those who are willing to take the ride. At least it hasn't left my CD player for quite a while...
The Kronos Quartet has really deserved the Grammy they got for this one. I can only hope that they're going to record more medievel music in the future but that's probably just wishful thinking.....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By paulusrex on November 18, 2008
Format: Audio CD
First of all, the Kronos quartet is not
an early music group, nor they intend to
be one. The music here is of course re-
workings of works of early music. Despite
the fact of not being how this music
actually sounded like, it got me started
on my collection of music by Perotin. When
I first heard "Viderunt Omnes" by Perotin,
I knew that I had to hear how it actually sounded
like in its original form. This recording the
Kronos Quartet does a great job as they always do.
Again, this recording is not intended for the
serious early music fan, this is more or less
having "fun" with early music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I think that were one to be swallowed whole into a landscape painted by Heironymous Bosch, this CD would be the music one would hear. I highly recommend this collection of eclectic, florid works.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Who can say, as of now, how much of the music the KQ plays will fall, deservedly or not, by the wayside and how much of it will continue for the ages? At any rate, this CD is rewarding. I like the mix of quirky pieces with the staid, even if the title "Early Music" is misleading (since few original instruments are utilized in this record). Fine work; highly recommended.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 25, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Really this is a two star album, but I gave it three here because I would feel like a wretch slamming this record. After all, Kronos is a tremendous quartet and have done more to unstuff and save classical music than anyone else. How else would I have ever heard about Schnittke or Moondog? But genuine care for artists requires an honest appraisal of each work on its own and I found this to be pretty lifeless and not nearly as cathartic as Kronos fans expect. The absolute career low point comes with an awful rendering of Harry Partch that betrays the composer's aesthetic. There are good reasons to have this CD however, and many of the pieces will serve as pleasing interludes when CD changers are put on random play. All things considered, I won't be selling this one, but I wouldn't buy it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Cavanaugh on June 7, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As interpreted by the Kronos Quartet, "Early Music" on this CD is not your average antiquarian's dustbin of 16th-century religious oldies. It is a complex journey through time. Beginning with 16th-century composer de Machaut through Tudor era composers Tye and Dowland, the CD jumps ahead to the early music of 20th-century composers John Cage and Arvo Partch. It then wanders back to 9th-century byzantine liturgical composer Kassia weaving back and forth through history to reveal an impressive musical discussion that both brings new relevancy to the old and brilliantly places modern music in context with the eternal. Listening to this CD is a truly enlightening voyage that reveals all epochs of music as being relevant to each other. This Kronos Quartet recording will appeal to the adventurous music listener who yearns for far more intellectual rigor than traditional classical music.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Redgecko on April 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
If you like simple, string quartet music as much as I do, then you've got to listen to this. It is a generous 68 minutes of plaintive music--no discontinuities and surpises like on their Black Angels recording. It is all slow and mournful.
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