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Riley: Salome Dances for Peace

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Audio CD, October 20, 1989
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$24.87 $7.98

Editorial Reviews

How often are you likely to listen to a 100-minute composition of strongly rhythmic character for string quartet? If the answer is, often enough to buy a recording, you'll want this one. Terry Riley was a proto-minimalist who remained on the fringe of public awareness while others such as Glass and Reich became popular. This piece doesn't sound like anyone else's work, but it's likelier to appeal to people who like Glass and Reich than to those whose taste stops at Beethoven. Riley writes fascinatingly for string quartet, and of course he gets a performance of boundless energy from Kronos. I found this set fascinating. --Leslie Gerber

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.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit: The Summons 4:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit: Peace Dance11:00Album Only
listen  3. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit: Fanfare in the Minimal Kingdom 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit: Ceremonial Night Race 4:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit: At the Ancient Aztec Corn Races Salome Meets Wild Talker 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit: More Ceremonial Races0:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit: Oldtimer at the Races 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit: Half Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight 8:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. II. Conquest of the War Demons: Way of the Warrior 5:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. II. Conquest of the War Demons: Salome and Half Wolf Descend Through the Gates to the Undeworld 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. II. Conquest of the War Demons: Breakthrough to the Realm of the War Demons 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. II. Conquest of the War Demons: Combat Dance 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. II. Conquest of the War Demons: Victory: Salome Re-enacts for Half Wolf Her Deeds of Valor0:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. II. Conquest of the War Demons: Discovery of Peace 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. II. Conquest of the War Demons: The Underworld Arising10:22Album Only
listen16. The Gift, Echoes of Primordial Time11:14Album Only
listen17. The Gift, Mongolian Winds 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. IV. The Ecstasy: Processional 2:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. IV. The Ecstasy: Seduction of the Bear Father 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. IV. The Ecstasy: The Gathering 5:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. IV. The Ecstasy: At the Summit 5:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. IV. The Ecstasy: Recessional 1:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Good Medicine, Good Medicine Dance13:34Album Only

Product Details

  • Performer: Kronos Quartet
  • Composer: Terry Riley
  • Audio CD (October 20, 1989)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Elektra / Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005IZP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,377 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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For nearly four decades, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our ... Read more in Amazon's Kronos Quartet Store

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
The amazing thing is that, while the details of the work are always different, the overall effect is the same.
Christopher Forbes
It's different, powerful, confounding, wonderful, demanding, and ultimately one of the most amazing string quartet works for your musical ears, and shelf.
Eurisko Lontano
It is a quasi-ballet, but its narrative doesn't really matter, and one can very well listen to this two-hour long set as pure music.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Forbes on January 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
More than 10 years after it's composition, Terry Riley's Salome Dances for Piece is looking like it will be his masterwork. Though certainly In C garners more performances and it's elegant concept is immediately attractive, Salome is a more profound work and shows the composer off in his most intersting guise.
Salome was commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, who perform it here. Like many of Riley's pieces, Salome has an intricate program, involving elements from world mythology. Briefly, Salome is charged with descending to the spirit world to recover peace for humanity. The mythos is typical Riley...everything but the kitchen sink is thrown into his hippy mix. While the program is interesting, the work stands on it's own merits.
Initial exposure to the piece was provided on the Kronos disc, Winter Was Hard and comparing that version of Half-Wolf Dances Mad in the Moonlight with the version on Salome is relevatory. Listening to the works side by side helps to demonstrate the amount of improvisation that Riley structures into his piece. Certainly many figures are prewritten, but much of the work leaves room for individual contribution by the members of Kronos. Often a Riley work may just include a few figures and a series of scales to improvise on. The amazing thing is that, while the details of the work are always different, the overall effect is the same. Riley has managed to integrate the improvised and the composed seemlessly in his piece.
The language of Salome is varied, from pentatonic minimalism to things that almost sound like Bartok. But it is never austere. Salome is a dance of joy by one of the most joyous composers of the 20th century.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Vargiu Riccardo James on July 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Terry Riley's string quartet is most certainly a remarkable composition, I daresay a gem of contemporary music. And, needless to say, Kronos performs it brilliantly.
The first things that come to mind about Salome Dances for Peace are:
1) its extraordinary length: it is nearly two hours long;
2) its intricacy: this piece requires attention, concentration and lots of thinking over, and even then it remains impenetrable at first.
I'm no musicologist, I'm afraid, so I won't even try to elucidate the technical aspects of Salome Dances for Peace: someone else - more competent and patient than myself - will do that soon, I hope. What I can say is that this composition is likely to interest contemporary music enthusiasts and/or experts, while it may not do the trick for the average classical music amateur. Kronos Quartet collectors, too, will want to own this CD, as I did, and - listening to it over and over again - will learn to love it, no doubt. But complex it is, and potential buyers might like to know that.
I rate Salome Dances for Peace "five stars," because it is a challenging and at the same time charming piece of art, which adds something new and vital to the corpus of classical music. Also, I rate it "five stars" to celebrate its heroine, Salome... After having seduced Wilde, Strauss and us all for her beauty, her passion and her cruelty so naïve and unaware of consequence, she comes back to seduce us once again, only this time with her strength.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eurisko Lontano on January 4, 2010
Format: Audio CD
When this work came out I was working as a college music librarian. In that position I was eagerly privy to a vast amount of music, both within our library, and everything that was acquired. I listened to Riley's "Salome" with great apprehension, and ultimately found the work, as a whole, fascinating, and to a degree perplexing. However, when I offered the work to a professor of composition, he "was not amused", exclaiming (something like) "What does Reily think he's doing?!?", and after just a few minutes of "listening" he "had to go", and despite my attempts to get other faculty interested, there was little success.

Admittedly, the work is a little strange, right from the title, and I really think that had an automatic -10 points negative from the get-go. But when the music began to infect the listener (professor, performer and student alike) there was no doubt that, all prejudices aside, this music was bold, bouncy, and something quite unexpected from Terry Riley!

Initially I felt that maybe I'm missing something that the PhD-folk understood: something was very "wrong" (in ways my lower degree could not possibly comprehend - but that emotion passed rather quickly). Obviously (to me) this work of Terry Riley was dramatically new and quite a change from what any of us had come to expect from a founder of the minimalist music school, and I found it fascinating.

This set of string quartets are bound with a bold sense of rhythm, harmony and tonality, wonderfully executed by the Kronos Quartet. To be honest, at the time of its release I knew of nothing remotely akin this sort of string quartet writing, and I am not aware of anything that quite compares to it today.
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Format: Audio CD
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Terry Riley initiated a fruitful collaboration with the Kronos Quartet, met at Mills College. Although the inventor, in 1964, of "minimalism", with his seminal "In C", Riley wasn't the main proponent of that style. He let that to Reich, Glass and Adams in the US, and to composers like Nyman, Pärt, Gorecki, Tavener, Andriessen in Europe. Incidentally, I prefer to call it "repetitive music", to distinguish it from the true minimalism of Morton Feldman, Giancinto Scelsi, Helmut Lachenmann or Salvatore Sciarrino, a music mostly slow-moving, made of very sparse and minimal musical events, often at the threshold of silence, each of them thus acquiring tremendous impact. On the other hand repetitive music, although based on small cells ever repeated and pulsating, can be very thick and busy, thanks to its processes of piling and tiling and rhythmic "out-of-syncic"

Anyway, Riley soon moved on to night-long keyboard improvisations in the manner of his teacher and mentor LaMonte Young (of which Harp of New Albion - and all but "minimal" piece - gives a good idea, The Harp of New Albion) and to North-Indian raga, under the tutelage of Pandit Pran Nath. So the collaboration with the Kronos Quartet came at the right time and enabled Riley to return to the West's time-hallowed instrumental combination, with entirely new ideas and fresh views.

He infused his quartets with his love and fascination not only for North-Indian music, but also for North-American Indian Folk-music.
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