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John Zorn Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $16.44 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 6 Songs, 2004 $5.94  
Audio CD, 2004 $16.44  

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

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Necronomicon - Conjurations 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Necronomicon - The Magus 6:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Necronomicon - Thought Forms 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Necronomicon - Incunabula 7:13Album Only
listen  5. Necronomicon - Asmodeus 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Sortilege 8:53Album Only

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tzadik
  • ASIN: B0002MPQS2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,410 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great chamber works. December 29, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This disc has two recent chamber works by John Zorn: _Necronomicon_ for string quartet, and _Sortilege_ for two bass clarinets.

John Zorn's most recent string quartet _Necronomicon_ presented here, and it is a schizophrenically meditative and brutally frightening. It alternates fast and slow movements. The first, third, and fifth movements are rife with shrieking, dramatic gestures and crunching polytonalities, jarring rhythms, and weblike melodic arrangements. The second and fourth movements are slow and carry a hushed warmth and focus for grasping concepts arcane. It is a mysterious and indelible piece.

"Sortilege" is a duet for two bass clarinets. It is an erratic, ever-changing, and considerably more "pleasant" than the quartet, albeit not particularly tonal. While primarily a virtuoso piece, it has its share of affecting expressions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More swell string writing from John Zorn December 14, 2004
Format:Audio CD
"Necronomicon" is John Zorn's fifth recorded string quartet, written in 2003. It is probably his most traditional piece for string quartet, even if he goes to great lengths not to title it as such. But all the traditions are there: with the five movement structure, I cannot help but think Bartók's 4th and 5th quartets (and, by listening to it and becoming more familiar, Ligeti's 2nd as well, which is also in five movements), especially with the symmetrical arch structure, with the fast third movement surrounded by two slow movements, which are framed by two outer faster movements. There is just a fair amount of his typical "scratchy-scratch" string writing, mostly found in the outer movements. There is also not as much "jump cutting material" as in some of his other quartets, especially "Cat o' Nine Tails" and "Dead Man"; in fact, the material is more akin to Zorn's "Kol Nidre": single subjects, well developed. The fourth movement has almost a melody with simple chordal accompaniment, almost alien for Zorn's writing it seems like.

The other piece is "Sortiége", scored for two bass clarinets. This is more like the Zorn of yorn, with the skittish angular figures and the jump-cutting of one kind of material to another and another in a matter of seconds. Definitely not something for amateurs to try at home.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb compositions and performance. March 16, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Necronomicon, performed by the Crowley Quartet-- Jennifer Choi and Jesse Mills on violin, Richard O'Neill on viola, and Fred Sherry on cello, is, per Zorn's own words, composed for the musicians. It consists of five movements and builds in a natural pattern. The opening movement, "Conjurations", begins right away in an aggressive mode, building tension over its entire length and providing a vehicle for Choi's virtuoso performance. This pushes until the second movement, which opens as release to the tension of the first. Here, the explosiveness and violence of the first movement falls away to a soft solo voice (primarily violin) over a subtle building chaos. But the building never amounts to much, and the movement dribbles into the third, "Thought Forms". The third movement introduces a circular solo arco part over pizzicato background, harsh to the point of percussive, then eventually swells to a head with an aggressive arco performance before switching into a mixed pizzicato/arco aggressive section.

As the fourth movement opens, we're moved into a soft, almost relaxed, very conventional (well, for Zorn at least) section, but below the long tones and slow development, a hint of tension, accentuated by a brief pizzicato section, lies. The fifth movement is the storm after the calm, similar in form and aggression to both "Conjurations" and the percussive pizzicato sections of "Thought Forms", but lacking the feeling of tension. Instead, this eventually moves into a brutal arco section, followed by a release, but ends in chaos.

Overall, "Necronomicon" is a thoroughly enjoyable and strong statement, and an excellent and rewarding listen.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Once the enfant terrible of the modern jazz and classical scene in the early 1980's and 1990's, John Zorn is either mellowing with age or following in the footsteps of his forefathers. There was a time when John Zorn was THE genre bashing composer to look to for innovation (from his Naked City thrash jazz punk band to earlier "game-piece" based classical compositions, like Cobra) he now seems to have taken heed of his spiritual forefathers artistic paths. By reaching inward for inspiration rather than attempting to shock the masses, Zorn may have discovered his most personal music.

Zorn's interest in Jewish mysticism is nothing new. His various Hassidic based Masada ensembles have been his main focus for the last ten years. They have also become his most accessible and enjoyable projects. This interest has become a primary focus for his recent chamber music writing as well. Everything from solo violin pieces to full orchestral scores have been written and recorded based on such arcane interests.

And so this brings us to "Magick." Consisting of only two pieces, it is an enjoyable (if short) excursion into definitive late 20th century classical music. The string quartet piece: "Necronomicon" is stellar, filled with the sort of post-Bartok and Webern stop-start jagged rhythms, trills and glisses that define the modernist aesthetic in post-romantic serialized music. The bass clarinet duet "Sortilege," described as the "most difficult piece written for the instrument" is a challenging and sonically engaging work.

While the pieces themselves are enormously captivating, I can't help but wonder what Zorn's current traditional chamber music would sound like if these pieces were written in an earlier phase when he was still sowing the seeds of discontent.
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