DAILY CAMERA Kronos honors World War I centennial with ‘Beyond Zero’
When an Austrian archduke was shot by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo 100 years ago, the horrors of war entered the modern era. But for David Harrington, violinist and founder of the Kronos String Quartet, 1914 and the years surrounding it were about much more than that.
“It was an amazingly poignant and creative time in Western music,” Harrington says, mentioning works such as Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and Rcahmaninoff’s Vespers, along with composers such as Bartók, Scriabin, Mahler and Jelly Roll Morton. When the quartet, which is probably the most famous ensemble specializing in new and contemporary music, decided to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I, Harrington wanted to commission a piece that reflected those aspects of the time.
The result was “Beyond Zero: 1914-1918” by Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebelov, a longtime collaborator with the quartet.