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Author: Peter Alexander | Sharps & Flatirons

REVIEW Kronos Quartet’s ‘Beyond Zero’ powerful, disturbing, inspired

Beyond Zero is by turns beautiful, disturbing, haunting and almost unbearably intense.

The Kronos Quartet’s Artist Series performance of Aleksandra Vrebalov’s Beyond Zero: 1914–1918, Wednesday night (Oct. 8) at Macky Auditorium, was the one of the most powerful concert experiences I can recall.

Commissioned by Kronos to mark the centennial of the beginning of World War I, Beyond Zero is by turns beautiful, disturbing, haunting and almost unbearably intense—as befits the subject, one of the most brutal and tragic events of human history. Kronos’ performance was an inspired feat of musicianship and athletic endurance: once begun, the music scarcely lets up until the very end, with harsh, rhythmic chords propelling the piece from climax to climax.

There are times that the music becomes almost unendurable in its intensity, but that again is an expression of a war that was literally unendurable for millions. How else can you put into music the suffering of a continent and the agony of the soldiers in the trenches, year after year? Like a visit to the battlefields, it is sometimes disturbing, but it is a vital and deeply moving experience that enlarges the soul.

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Student Recitals

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Oct 1-31, 2018

Student Recitals

Undergraduate, Master's and Doctoral musicians
Free and open to the public

The stars of tomorrow are on stage today at CU Boulder. The students of the College of Music present works old and new for their degree-qualifying rec...

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Oct 18-21, 2018

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A musical by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt
SOLD OUT

Body, memory and trauma collide in this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical exploring the collateral effects of mental illness. Set to an electrifying scor...

Wind Symphony

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Oct 20, 2018

Wind Symphony

At Boulder's Rayback Collective
Free concert

The CU Wind Symphony performs chamber wind pieces at Rayback Collective, a popular food truck park, coffee house and live music venue in Boulder. Join...