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Terry Riley - Kronos Quartet: Salome - Dances For Peace CD (album) cover


Terry Riley


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4.13 | 4 ratings

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4 stars Although best known for his raga-rock like virtuoso improvisations on electronic keyboards, Terry Riley still finds time to return to his original calling, that of a university trained contemporary concert hall composer. Riley is hardly a dilettante in this field, Salome Dances for Peace is probably one of the finest string quartets composed in the last half of the 20th century. Those who are only familiar with Riley's Indian influenced repeating minimalist electronic keyboard solos may be in for a few surprises here. While fellow minimalist composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass remain predictable in their approach, Riley breaks from pure minimalism on this piece and turns to other influences for inspiration. Much of Salome Dances is inspired by folk dance music as well as other composers who use folk elements. Bartok's intense driving Hungarian string quartets are an obvious reference as well as American William Grant Still's rhythmic rustic blues influenced string compositions. Even 19th century folk influenced composers such as Moussorgsky and Dvorak seem to be a root inspiration for some of this music.

The brilliant Kronos String Quartet provides the requisite fiddling and string pluckin to pull off this high brow long haired affair. Kronos is probably one of the few classically trained quartets who can provide the relentless rock like rhythmic drive that makes Terry Riley pieces unique in the world of contemporary composition. Despite his classification as a minimalist, Terry Riley takes his Salome Dances far beyond the confines of style into beautifully complex and rhythmically intense compositions that are uniquely his own

Easy Money | 4/5 |


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