If you’ve heard the hauntingly ominous “Requiem For a Dream” score — and given how many movies borrow it to inject dread and gravitas into their trailers, you almost certainly have — then you’ve heard Kronos Quartet, the groundbreaking San Francisco-based classical ensemble that headlines the Southern Theatre this Saturday.
That said, the group’s performance of Clint Mansell’s “Requiem” music doesn’t come close to summing up the ground David Harrington’s combo has covered over the past four decades. When it comes to Kronos, there’s no shortage of entry points.
They’ve followed pop and classical impulses all over the musical landscape, working with everyone from Bjork and Amon Tobin to Dave Matthews Band and Nelly Furtado. They’ve also delved into the world of dance, collaborating with choreographers like Twyla Tharp and Merce Cunningham. And they’ve loaned their forward-looking take on ancient instruments to a number of films including “The Fountain,” “2081” and, of course, “Requiem.”
For Saturday’s performance they’ll show off that range. Among other pieces, they plan to tackle the Marika Papagika-popularized traditional “Smyrneiko Minore,” Wilhelm Richard Wagner’s timeless classical work “Prelude and Liebestod from ‘Tristan and Isolde,’” a stab at composition by The National’s Bryce Dessner called “Aheym (Homeward)” and modern classical wonders from forward thinkers Steve Reich (“WTC 9/11”) and Laurie Anderson (“Flow”).
Jay Blakesberg photo