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  • Terry Riley: The Cusp of Magic
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Terry Riley: The Cusp of Magic


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Audio CD, February 5, 2008
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. I. The Cusp of Magic10:03Album Only
listen  2. II. Buddha's Bedroom10:28Album Only
listen  3. III. The Nursery 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. IV. Royal Wedding 6:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. V. Emily and Alice 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. VI. Prayer Circle 6:40$0.99  Buy MP3 

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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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Product Details

  • Performer: Kronos Quartet, Wu Man
  • Audio CD (February 5, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0010X5WVS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,954 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The Cusp of Magic, continues the San Francisco-based Kronos' extraordinary, career-length collaboration/dialogue with composer Terry Riley, the progenitor of the minimalist movement. Northern California native Riley first met the Kronos founder, violinist David Harrington, in 1978, when the composer was teaching at Mills College in Oakland and Harrington was a student; since then, Riley has written many string quartets for Kronos and they have performed and recorded such major works as Salome Dances for Peace (1989) and Sun Rings (2002), commissioned by NASA. The Cusp of Magic commemorates Riley's 70th birthday and it was written for Kronos Quartet and Wu Man, the most internationally renowned player of the pipa, or Chinese lute. The piece received its world premiere on May 1, 2005 at Zellerbach Hall on The University of California's Berkeley campus, and it has since become a popular addition to the quartet's live repertoire. Six tracks. Nonesuch. 2008.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
You heard me, go buy the album.
thestarsprism
The pipa master Wu Man[the pipa is a lute like instrument I was told] adds her distinctive sound and vocals .
A. Hogan
Very beautiful music, beautifully performed.
Dana E. Burns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A. Hogan VINE VOICE on February 5, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Almost all comparisons, said the man, are odious. Comparing this piece to Requiem for Adam or Salome Dances or Cadenza on the night plain[to name a few Riley/Kronos partnerships] is purely academic. This piece stands on its own, and is simply beautiful. The pipa master Wu Man[the pipa is a lute like instrument I was told] adds her distinctive sound and vocals . The 6 movements form a circle of sorts,beginning with the title piece, bringing with it the dispaate elements that Mr. riley has accrued thoughout his magnificent musical journey. Elements of raga, Chinese, native american and blues work their way throughout, adding layers not dissonance.When we finally end in prayer circle, we have indeed come aways.As always,The kronos quartet are impeccable,Ms. Man 's tender voice and gentle pipa are added dimensions to a marvelous work. this is a work ,soaring spiritual beauty. I cannot recommend it higher! I am grateful for Terry Riley and the kronos quartet , and now to wu Man
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 15, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Having been in the audience (which included Terry Riley himself) of a performance of this work, I waited in anticipation for the release of the CD. And I am not disappointed. It is wonderful in every possible way, although it, of course, cannot provide the visual delight of David Harrington playing the variety of musical toy instruments from around the world, including a small toy fiddle. A further joy is Wu Man, brilliant artist of the pipa, who does magic in her own right; moreover, her sweet voice singing her lullaby was a pleasant surprise. The various subsets of composition, a magical journey of phrases and idioms, hints of many lands, closes the work seen as a peyote prayer circle taking us from the dark, reflective nocturnes of children to a rhythmic and bright dawn. Riley the experimenter, the magician, the musical guru takes us through the rite. And we are better for it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By a customer on January 10, 2010
Format: Audio CD
this is one of my favorite albums at the moment

the atmosphere it has is just magical

and very difficult to define in simple terms

takes at least a few listens to absorb

after that it really opens up beautifully

becomes a very rewarding listening experience

album is also recorded very well - the sound is just excellent

in fact it has a very inviting & natural sound

i think that if you are a terry riley fan you will love this album

i'm not too familiar with kronos quartet besides what they've done with terry so i can't speak for those who follow the group

also - look at the beautiful album cover!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Masha on August 9, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Wu Man for some years, and of Kronos Quartet. This was my first Terry Riley experience, however, and it took a few listenings for me to "get it". But now I've got it and it's great! I love how all the various parts interweave so creatively and beautifully. I highly recommend this CD.
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