“Aheym serves as an excellent introduction to Bryce Dessner as an intrepid creator of stirring works in the classical music tradition. And perhaps there is no better ensemble to help facilitate this introduction than the Kronos Quartet… Dessner has certainly worked in a variety of contemporary classical contexts… But Aheym feels like the most formidable of these efforts. Above all, Aheym whets the appetite for more large-scale works from Dessner. What would a Dessner symphony or opera sound like? This the question Aheym seems to dangle in front of listeners.”
Aheym is the recorded debut of Bryce Dessner as a composer. Known for being the guitarist of the National and Clogs, he has also collaborated with contemporary classical composers Steve Reich, Philip Glass, David Lang, and others. Aheym features four original compositions by Dessner, three of which were written for the Kronos Quartet, as well as one written for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.
Dessner and the quartet first met when Kronos’ artistic director, founder, and violinist David Harrington approached Dessner about writing a piece for the group’s performance at Celebrate Brooklyn! in 2009. The resulting piece Aheym, which means “homeward” in yiddish, was informed by the stories of Dessner’s Jewish immigrant grandparents, who had settled near the location of the concert – Prospect Park.
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