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One of the world's great chamber ensembles takes on 'The Sea Ranch'


Alexandra Vrebalov, “The Sea Ranch Songs” performed by the Kronos Quartet (Canteloupe, disc plus DVD)

It’s the DVD by Andrew Lyndon that is of more interest here, really, than the music. The Kronos is one of the world’s greatest chamber ensembles. I’ve always thought that if there were a Nobel Prize in music, its leader David Harrington would be a worthy recipient. But that is for its exhaustive uncovering of postmodern composition and international musics.

Of slightly lesser interest here is the Kronos as a very San Franciscan outfit, dedicating this to “The Sea Ranch” near San Francisco where, says composer Vrebalov and Harrington, “an entire community is dedicated to living, building and interacting with its surroundings in harmonious and responsible ways. We celebrate the nature, people and architecture of this magical place by creating a piece with original music, documented sounds and visual samples of different aspects of life and creativity in this rare landscape where people and nature are intertwined in a healthy union.”

The music is not as interesting as either the place or the video.

2.5 stars (out of four)


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