Bryce Dessner and Kronos Quartet
Aheym - ANTI-
FILTER Grade: 85%
By Zachary Sniderman on November 5, 2013
Of all modern classical groups, Kronos Quartet have been the most visible, the most ambitious and the most surprising. Founded in 1973, they have worked with brilliant shipmates including Philip Glass, David Bowie and Björk, brazenly sailing through the uncomfortable space between modern pop and classical music. In Aheym, they bring their unconventional skill set to a collaboration with Bryce Dessner, a guitarist and songwriter for The National, to do something very different from his indie-rock bandmates. Aheym, Yiddish for “homeward,” gets at something deeper, tapping into Dessner’s Jewish and Eastern European roots. Just four tracks long, each is a journey—a choppy meditation on immigration (“Aheym”), an homage to Czech church music (“Little Blue”), the choral sways of Tallis (“Tenebre”) and the guitar-driven finale of “Tour Eiffel.” Aheym is a moving work but it is also challenging: The quartet saw and slide with impeccable skill with Dessner as their captain.