Osvaldo Golijov
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Night Prayers - Kronos Quartet
Nonesuch 79346
Released 09-06-94

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Track 6K'VakaratKronos Quartet with Mikhail Alexandrovich, cantor

...Not only does this disc partake of the time-suspending qualities of Asian folk music, but it burns with a spiritual intensity that has survived the yoke of totalitarianism... 'When you oppress people, their only escape is to sing upward,' said Golijov. On this extraordinary disc, mournful but brimming with seeds of hope, these composers sing vibrantly indeed.

Classic CD

...Perhaps the most important piece on the album is "K'vakarat" composed by Argentinian-born, Russian/Jewish-descended Osvaldo Golijov, Cantor Misha Alexandrovich and Kronos beautifully interpret the war that goes on in the soul of any religious person, the conflict between the demands of the godhead and the trials of earthbound existence.

CMJ Magazine

...Vocal music is a thread that runs through the "Night Prayers" disc: Golijov's "K'vakarat" is a setting of a sung synagogue prayer, performed with haunting effect by Mikhail Alexandrovich, a concert singer and cantor who lived in the Soviet Union. 'From 1941 to 1973, when he emigrated, he was afraid to sing even in his own apartment," Golijov said. "I was scared I wouldn't be able to find a cantor who had the right sound, but I was lucky."

—Scott Duncan, Orange County Register

...A musical prayer in a Russian-Jewish vein is offered by Golijov. He describes "K'vakarat", his musical setting for a Jewish high holy day prayer, as "like two prayers going on at the same time." An elderly Latvian cantor, Mikhail Alexandrovich, sings with torrential moral and musical force while Kronos move to a shattering climax sustained by frantic bowing—the violins, viola, and cello seemingly questioning both the cantor and God about the meaning of divine judgment.

—Norman Weinstein, The Boston Phoenix