Kronos Quartet & Missy Mazzoli
You Know Me From Here
DUKE PERFORMANCES PREMIERE: SAT, MARCH 22, 2014
Now almost fifty years in, Kronos Quartet still feels revolutionary. They have commissioned hundreds of new works for string quartet, recorded over sixty albums, and brought the work of musicians from across the globe into the chamber musician tradition. “The best thing about Kronos,” writes The New Yorker, “is their unflagging curiosity about the world.”
Their first appearance at the revamped Baldwin Auditorium, on March 22, 2014, featured a Duke Performances commission: You Know Me From Here, which composer Missy Mazzoli calls a “musical journey homeward.” That’s also the theme of Aheym, another song in the program, which Bryce Dessner based on his grandparents’ turbulent journey to this country.
And frequent Kronos collaborator Philip Glass contributed a brand-new Kronos-commissioned composition, String Quartet No. 6, full of Glass’ trademark driving rhythms. Their program revealed a group more dedicated than ever to founder David Harrington’s dream of making the string quartet “vital and energetic and alive.”
In the 2013-2014 season, Kronos also brought with them a new cellist, Sunny Jungin Yang. Kronos’ GRAMMY-winning record producer Judith Sherman calls Yang’s playing “joyful, beautiful, and meaningful.” Yang has helped to write another exciting chapter of this landmark group’s history.
You Know Me from Here was commissioned for Kronos by Carol Magnus Cole, in celebration of her husband Tim’s 75th birthday. When she asked me to write this piece, I immediately imagined a 20-minute musical journey homeward, a trek through chaos (I. Lift Your Fists) and loneliness (II. Everything That Rises Must Converge) to a place of security and companionship (III. You Know Me From Here). This is, at its core, music about loss, but in the most positive sense; it speaks of the loss of our old selves, the jumps into the unknown, the leaps of faith we all must make, and the beautiful moments when we find solace in a person, in an idea, or in music itself. The music itself shifts constantly from earthy, gritty gestures to soaring, leaping melodies that rarely land where we expect.
Many thanks to Carol and Tim, the Kronos Quartet, Janet Cowperthwaite, Katy Tucker, and poet Farnoosh Fathi (for the title).
— Missy Mazzoli
Missy Mazzoli’s You Know Me from Here was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by Carol Magnus Cole, in celebration of her husband Tim’s 75th birthday. Additional support was provided by Duke Performances at Duke University.