Salome Dances for Peace

Salome Dances for Peace

Terry Riley


“There is no string quartet that has ever been written that can compare length and diversity with Terry Riley’s Salome Dances for Peace… Riley takes all of the musical ideas he holds dear, places them in the context of all the world’s musical styles he holds sacred, and then creates for them an allegory that has lasting implications for how people view not only history and their role in the present, but how they conduct their view of the world around them forever more. That this is done without a lyric or being autodidactic is a small miracle. That he and the Kronos Quartet have produced a string quartet at the end of the 20th century that stands as one of the most sophisticated and musically challenging in the history of Western music is an enigma.”

Thom Jurek, AllMusic

About the album

From Mark Swed’s liner notes: “Salome Dances for Peace is music of passing landscapes. It is a tapestry of seemingly unrelated musics; musics reflecting its composer’s passions for jazz, blues, North Indian raga, Middle Eastern scales, Minimalist pattern and traditional Western art music; styles never before found together within the framework of a single string quartet… Riley began it in 1985 as a ballet, developing scenario and music together. As the score evolved during two years of composition, the music outgrew its need for explicit staging… In Riley’s narrative, the heroine is Salome, the legendary seductress in King Herod’s court. Now, 2000 years after her famous dance, peace has been stolen from the earth by dark forces, and Salome is chosen to win it back.”

From Terry Riley’s liner notes: “I’m always trying to find ways that I can, besides doing music, contribute to world peace, or maybe neighborhood peace or home peace. I told David [Harrington, Kronos’ founder, artistic director and violinist] when we first started that I thought we ought to create a piece that can be played at the United Nations on special holidays. It would not be just a concert piece but a piece that could be played as a rite.”


Kronos Quartet
David Harrington, violin
John Sherba, violin
Hank Dutt, viola
Joan Jeanrenaud, cello

Produced by Judith Sherman
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

Disc 1

  1. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit – The Summons
  2. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit – Peace Dance
  3. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit – Fanfare in the Minimal Kingdom
  4. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit – Ceremonial Night Race
  5. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit – At the Ancient Aztec Corn Races Salome Meets Wild Talker
  6. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit – More Ceremonial Races
  7. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit – Oldtimers at the Races
  8. I. Anthem of the Great Spirit – Half Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight
  9. II. Conquest of the War Demons – Way of the Warrior
  10. II. Conquest of the War Demons – Salome and Half Wolf Descend Through the Gates to the Underworld
  11. II. Conquest of the War Demons – Breakthrough to the Realm of the War Demons
  12. II. Conquest of the War Demons – Combat Dance
  13. II. Conquest of the War Demons – Victory: Salome Re-Enacts for Half Wolf Her Deeds of Valor
  14. II. Conquest of the War Demons – Discovery of Peace
  15. II. Conquest of the War Demons – The Underworld Arising

Disc 2

  1. III. The Gift – Echoes of Primordial Time
  2. III. The Gift – Mongolian Winds
  3. IV. The Ecstasy – Processional
  4. IV. The Ecstasy – Seduction of the Bear Father
  5. IV. The Ecstasy – The Gathering
  6. IV. The Ecstasy – At the Summit
  7. IV. The Ecstasy – Recessional
  8. V. Good Medicine – Good Medicine Dance

Released by Nonesuch Records



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