The third installment of the Kronos Quartet's stylistically omnivorous residency at Zankel Hall on 26 March, was devoted to music from Azerbaijan, or at least, music with Azeri roots, New York Times daily reports.
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, the most famous composer from Azerbaijan, now lives in Berlin and writes music that vacillates between dense Western chromaticism, Azeri folk influences and a quasi-mystical style all her own, Trend reports.
The first half of the program was devoted to her works. "Mugam Sayagi" (1993), the string quartet that opened the program, begins and ends with a simple, repeating figure for cello alone. Between those signposts, the music wanders widely, through vigorously bowed ensemble passages, dance figures in which pizzicato and bowing alternate, and others that have the musicians playing percussion instead of their usual instruments.
The second half of the program included two works by Rahman Asadollahi, an Iranian composer of Azeri descent who lives in Los Angeles. His "Mugam Beyati Shiraz" (2004) had the members of the quartet particularly its two violinists, David Harington and John Sherba playing modal melodies with the inflections of Middle Eastern vocal lines.