Cadenza on the Night Plain

Terry Riley


Cadenza on the Night Plain presents four of Terry Riley’s works for string quartet, works that, if your only acquaintance with Riley has been pieces on the order of In C or other larger-scaled works, are going to be something of a surprise — no matter how complex and abstract their conceptual underpinnings, they are possessed of a refreshing liveliness and clarity… the performance by Kronos Quartet is, as might be imagined, the definitive performance: Riley and the Quartet have been collaborating since the late 1970s.”

Robert Tilendis, Green Man Review

About the album

From Mark Swed’s liner notes: “The idea of composing for standard ensembles is something that the independently minded Riley has long rejected. Traditionally, his musical paths have been new to Western composition. The route by which he reached the string quartet medium has been as typically indirect and inner directed as his music… Working with Kronos enabled him to overcome his reluctance toward writing for ensembles, since he could have a collaborative relationship with Kronos that allowed space for his improvisational composition style.”

Three of the four works included on the album have been re-recorded and released by our longtime label Nonesuch Records: Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector is included in the 2015 compilation Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector: Music of Terry Riley, and G Song and Cadenza on the Night Plain are included in the 1998 collection 25 Years, as well as Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector.​


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

Produced by Tim Martyn and Kronos
Executive Producer: Jonathan F.P. Rose

  1. Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector
  2. G Song
  3. Mythic Birds Waltz
  4. Cadenza on the Night Plain (Dedicated to Dr. Margaret Lyon)

Released by Gramavision
Currently out of print

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