The sands shift constantly in the world of Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov (b.1960), leading him from his strife-torn homeland to Israel to the U.S., where he now lives. His 1994 work for string quartet and clarinet, The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac The Blind, meditates on the meaning of that journey. It was inspired by the medieval rabbi known as Isaac the Blind, a mystic who believed that all things happen as the result of combinations of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Golijov uses the building blocks of music to tease the same cosmic mysteries in a work that echoes the joy and sorrow, the passion and reason of the entire Jewish experience. Sometimes the music rocks with the sound of klezmer, sometimes it merely, hypnotically seems to breathe. The Kronos Quartet's riveting new recording with clarinetist David Krakauer makes it an unforgettable experience.
...What Golijov has achieved in this new work is an unusually passionate synthesis of traditional Jewish folk and religious musics well seasoned with Latin and classical accents...
Norman Weinstein, The Boston Phoenix