13 Songs, 1 Hour 26 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Over the years, the Kronos Quartet has expanded the notion of what a string quartet can be. On Floodplain, the group performs arrangements of pieces from the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. “Ya Habibi Ta’ala,” a song that was a hit in the Arab world in the ‘40s, was arranged by Kronos and the Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov and evokes the sound of tango as much as mid-20th century Egyptian pop. On “Getme, Getme” the quartet joins forces with the Alim Qasimov Ensemble, an Azerbaijani group that features the passionate singing of Qasimov and his daughter, Fargana Qasimova. “Lullaby,” a traditional work from the southern coast of Iran, where there is a significant African presence, is one of the album’s highlights. The eerie, plaintive music is given voice by David Harrington on scordatura violin and the other players. Floodplain closes with the 22-minute “…hold Me, Neighbor, In This Storm…,” by the Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov. It’s a musical portrait of Vrebalov’s homeland: church bells, the Muslim call to prayer, the rasp of the single-stringed gusle and the beat of the tapan drum all mix with the string quartet to evoke the region’s cultural diversity.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Over the years, the Kronos Quartet has expanded the notion of what a string quartet can be. On Floodplain, the group performs arrangements of pieces from the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. “Ya Habibi Ta’ala,” a song that was a hit in the Arab world in the ‘40s, was arranged by Kronos and the Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov and evokes the sound of tango as much as mid-20th century Egyptian pop. On “Getme, Getme” the quartet joins forces with the Alim Qasimov Ensemble, an Azerbaijani group that features the passionate singing of Qasimov and his daughter, Fargana Qasimova. “Lullaby,” a traditional work from the southern coast of Iran, where there is a significant African presence, is one of the album’s highlights. The eerie, plaintive music is given voice by David Harrington on scordatura violin and the other players. Floodplain closes with the 22-minute “…hold Me, Neighbor, In This Storm…,” by the Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov. It’s a musical portrait of Vrebalov’s homeland: church bells, the Muslim call to prayer, the rasp of the single-stringed gusle and the beat of the tapan drum all mix with the string quartet to evoke the region’s cultural diversity.

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