Philip Glass’s “Dracula” score—with Kronos Quartet and 1931 film screening

Posted on: October 26, 2017

“The Kronos Quartet has performed Philip Glass’ live score for ‘Dracula’ under so many oddball circumstances over the years that this week’s Halloween screening at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland should be a walk in the park,” writes Joshua Kosman in Wednesday’s (10/25) San Francisco Chronicle. “ ‘We’ve performed it in a graveyard in Spain. We’ve performed it on a nude beach in Italy…. Well, it was after dark, so it’s not like we could actually see anything,’ [founder and first violinist David] Harrington said with a chuckle…. Glass’ moody, atmospheric score for string quartet—full of pulsating harmonies and undulating arpeggios that perfectly capture the qualities of the film and of Bela Lugosi’s canonical performance in the title role … [is] best heard … in a live performance while the film plays on a big screen…. The ‘Dracula’ screening, presented by SFJazz, is part of the yearlong celebration of Glass’ 80th birthday…. The commission [from Universal] came to Glass in 1999…. A month later, Harrington said, the piece was completed—some 70 minutes’ worth of music. ‘He composed a scene a day,’ [says Harrington] … The performers … play almost nonstop through the length of the film.”

Posted October 26, 2017