Kronos Quartet: Responding to life as it happens

By Elizabeth Kerr In Classical

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21st February, 2013
Late one night in 1973, violinist David Harrington heard on the radio George Crumb’s Black Angels for electric string quartet. In this extraordinary work, composed during and about the Vietnam War, insects explode into anguished sound, melodies tear at our ears, ghostly voices whisper and chant and the electric sounds of the future vie with ancient strings and gongs. “It was a difficult time for many people my age, for many musicians,” says Harrington. “All of a sudden, there was the recognition of the power of a musical experience to give a sense of relevance, an expression ...

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