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The Cusp of Magic

Album Summary

>Riley, Terry [Composer] : The Cusp of Magic, for string quartet & pipa
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Cusp of Magic, continues the San Francisco-based Kronos' extraordinary, career-length collaboration/dialogue with composer Terry Riley, the progenitor of the minimalist movement. Northern California native Riley first met the Kronos founder, violinist David Harrington, in 1978, when the composer was teaching at Mills College in Oakland and Harrington was a student; since then, Riley has written many string quartets for Kronos and they have performed and recorded such major works as Salome Dances for Peace (1989) and Sun Rings (2002), commissioned by NASA. The Cusp of Magic commemorates Riley's 70th birthday and it was written for Kronos Quartet and Wu Man, the most internationally renowned player of the pipa, or Chinese lute. The piece received its world premiere on May 1, 2005 at Zellerbach Hall on The University of California's Berkeley campus, and it has since become a popular addition to the quartet's live repertoire. Six tracks. Nonesuch. 2008.

Notes & Reviews:


The Wire (p.53) - "Riley's grounding in Indian music is present in the rhythmic intricacy of this piece, its poise and supple pacing."


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Works Details

>Riley, Terry [Composer] : The Cusp of Magic, for string quartet & pipa
  • Performers: Elisabeth Commanday (Voice); David Dvorin (Electronics); Wu Man (Pipa)
  • Ensemble: Kronos Quartet
  • Running Time: 42 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2004
  • Studio/Live: Studio