Various Artists:

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  • It’s back with another album that’s less easily classified as classical and more difficult to categorize as contemporary. In addition to Jennifer Culp, who is a new cellist, they have brought along other pals. (According to the ensemble’s website, Joan Jeanrenaud left in 1999). In the words of Pandit Pran Nath, “Souls move in caravans,” the title of the CD comes from a quote from him. When it comes to the music onKronos Caravan, souls from all over the world contribute, yet if one were to pinpoint a geographical center of gravity, one may point to the ill-defined border between Europe and Asia. Yugoslavia, Portugal, India, Mexico, Romania, Hungary, California, Argentina, Iran and Lebanon are among the countries represented by the composers of these twelve compositions. It is the arrangements of Osvaldo Golijov, an eclectic Argentinean composer who has also produced original music for Kronos, that help to bring the piece to a cohesive whole. Keeping up with their unpredictable agenda, Kronos has assembled an international team of musicians to support them. The Indiantabla, a rousing Romanian folk ensemble known as Taraf de Hadouks, the thenay and thetar from Lebanon, as well as thekamanche and thetombak from Iran, are among the many tunes included. Lastly, a drummer from Liverpool contributes to the last tune, which may be considered as a “genuine rendition” of the surf-rock classicMisirlou. You may not have known that Armenian music may have had an impact on the California surf-guitar style. While it is stated in the booklet notes, it is not until you hearMisirlou Twist that you will believe it. Kronos and Golijov have created an arrangement of the well-known “Hungarian suicide song,” which was written by a guy named Rezsö Seress, who, yep, committed suicide in 1968. Anxious types will be “glad” to hear the rendition. Since its inception more than fifty years ago, Gloomy Sunday has dispatched an untold number of dismal persons, and the version offered here is suitably gloomy. Tune into Turceasca, a Kronos jam session with the legendary Taraf de Hadouks, if you need to be cheered up again. Despite the fact that the composer, Sapo Perapaskero, was born in Romania, the title of the song translates as “Turkish Song.” Perapaskero’s homeland has been conquered by the Turks more than once in history, so the association isn’t entirely strange. When it comes to this tune, Kronos and the “gypsy collective” work up a good sweat, and you could find yourself spinning about like a dervish by the time it’s through. You shouldn’t anticipate classical performance from Kronos since this isn’t a classical record in the traditional sense
  • They screech, squawk, moan, keen, and howl their way through the music, and they do it well. Seeing them push themselves further than they have ever gone before is exciting to witness. In terms of entertainment and mind-expanding potential, this CD delivers on both counts. Even while the Kronos Caravan is a shining example of diversity, the event is much more than simply a meaningless display of politically incorrect ad hominem rhetoric. These songs are being performed live by the Kronos Quartet on their current tour. It is they who are partnered with Nonesuch singer Dawn Upshaw, who sang with them on theNight Prayers CD. Raymond Tuttle is the owner of the copyright for 2000.
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