FIRST LISTEN: AZUL
The music searches, reaching ever higher, whirling itself into ecstasy, and finally falls back to earth into a pool of percussion. The slow movement begins in serene meditation — a heartbeat pulse in the strings, birdsong percussion and sustained cello pitches — but it gradually blooms into a sweet thunder of brass and winds.
EXCLUSIVE MUSIC VIDEO: THE KNIGHTS' "ASCENDING BIRD" FEATURING YO-YO MA
... The music that came from it was connected to an old myth that concerned a bird trying to fly towards the sun. Its first attempts were failures; it wasn’t until the bird shed its physical shell that it could transcend earthly limitations.
THE KNIGHTS, "PARTICULARLY IMPRESSIVE" ON THEIR NEW RELEASE WITH GIL SHAHAM
The orchestral playing is particularly impressive: The Knights, under the baton of Eric Jacobsen, provide both a strong force and subtle sensitive moments... The orchestra gives strength in characters, glowing and shimmering... full of ever-changing virtuosic prowess.
THE KNIGHTS FIND THE "SWEET SPOT" AT HARRIS THEATER
...the Brooklyn-based Knights seem to have found a sweet spot with programs that meld the familiar and novel, giving their fan base a taste of discovery with each performance... judging by the near-capacity crowd and enthusiastic response, one would expect local presenters to take heed.
GIL SHAHAM AND THE KNIGHTS PREMIERE JONATHAN LESHNOFF'S VIOLIN CONCERTO
I hope The Knights are invited back — and soon.
THE KNIGHTS WITH LISE DE LA SALLE: "IMPRESSIVE," "ELEGANT," "SOULFUL"
[Colin] Jacobsen joined the cellist Eric Jacobsen (his brother) and Ms. de la Salle for an impressive rendition of the Ravel Trio in A minor... [de la Salle’s] colorful, technically assured playing balanced the richly toned, passionate contributions of the Jacobsens.
THE KNIGHTS AT DUMBARTON OAKS: "DEFT" AND "IMAGINATIVE"
The contemporary-music scene in New York has been generating a nearly endless stream of high-powered young ensembles over the past decade. On Sunday night, one of the most imaginative of them — a musical collective known as the Knights — came to Dumbarton Oaks as part of the museum’s Friends of Music series.
THE STRAD RECOMMENDS THE GROUND BENEATH OUR FEET
With roots in the workshops of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, this [The Concerto for Violin, Santur and Orchestra] glittering, propulsive piece of East–West fusion blends solo sections for santur (Persian zither) and high, driving passagework for violin with shifting textures of strings, wind and percussion.
THE KNIGHTS CELEBRATE DON QUIXOTE'S BIRTHDAY AT TANGLEWOOD
...the 26-member ensemble again demonstrated its polish, versatility and spirit in this and the evening’s other performances.
THE KNIGHTS OPEN THE NAUMBURG ORCHESTRA CONCERTS, SOGGY YET "SPIRITED."
The performances, in every case spirited and vital, survived amplification and the elements surprisingly well...
“[The Orchestras’] enthusiasm for showcasing music that reflects their cities, and their innovative concepts for engaging with the community outside the walls of the concert hall, to us, reflect a fundamental and positive shift in how today’s orchestras view their role in the community.”
...when they performed “The Chairman Dances“, John Adam’s Foxtrot for orchestra, together, one feels how they play in one spirit. The meeting of “chairman” Mao Zedong and US president Richard Nixon, ironically put into music, leads to a rhythmical game of deception which is brought staggered by tricky syncopation. But this is no problem for The Knights; they accurately listen to each other, and they operate powerfully.
THE GROUND BENEATH OUR FEET: BUOYANT, VIVID, SPLENDID...
The range and inventiveness of the Knights, the New York orchestra founded and led by the brothers Eric and Colin Jacobsen, is everywhere on display in this beguiling new release.
They’ve dedicated their latest album, the ground beneath our feet, to the concerto grosso. The album features both classic and new examples of the form, from Bach to Stravinsky to some of the group’s very own composers. The result is a collection of music that’s grounded in a common cause but weightless in execution.
THE KNIGHTS' LIVE RECORDING OF STEVE REICH: SIX MINUTES OF "MESMERIZING SUNSHINE"
It’s a lovely and welcoming opener to the ground beneath our feet, a new album from the young musicians of the chamber orchestra The Knights. Bach, Stravinsky, Reich and even a couple of the ensemble’s own adventurous compositions commingle on this satisfying new release.
THE KNIGHTS AND BELA FLECK AT FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
The most demanding portion of the evening arrived before intermission with The Knights’ full-steam charge aimed at the heart of John Adams’ frenetic Chamber Symphony. The driving work was inspired, in part, by the music for “The Road Runner” cartoons and left no percussive instrument untouched.
THE KNIGHTS WITH BELA FLECK: AN ORCHESTRAL GROUP EFFORT AT SCHIMMEL CENTER
Last Wednesday, at Pace University’s Schimmel Center, the Knights gave an expressive and exuberant performance of ‘ ...The Ground Beneath Our Feet,’ the title track of the ensemble’s new album
THE KNIGHTS' AT CARNEGIE HALL: WE'RE NOTHING BUT BUSTS, MOZART. BUSTS!
The conductor Robert Spano led the impressive chamber orchestra the Knights and a wonderful cast of singers taking multiple roles in a vibrant performance of the piece, directed by Mary Birnbaum... even those who lack understanding of the rudiments of harmony would surely enjoy it, while also learning something in the most entertaining way.
ROULETTE: THE KNIGHTS EVOKE A PARIS NIGHTCLUB, AND THEIR ROOTS
The Knights have earned a reputation for innovative programming; with this event, they wanted to capture the spontaneity of the concertgoing experience that was typical before the formal overture-symphony-concerto lineup became standard in the 20th century.
TANGLEWOOD: THE KNIGHTS, ON A STORMY NIGHT, A FRESH BREEZE IN OZAWA HALL
Genre-bending (it used to be called crossover) is all the thing in music these days.... At its best, it’s the kind of thing The Knights (and the ladies among them) do.... As important as the repertoire...was the joy in the music-making. You could see it in the players’ lithe swaying to the music and hear it in the lithe sounds that emerged.
THE KNIGHTS AND TIMO ANDRES FILL OUT MOZART'S 'CORONATION'
As played by the Knights, an excellent chamber orchestra, on Tuesday at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, the composer and pianist Timo Andres’s take on the “Coronation” (otherwise known as the Piano Concerto No. 26 in D) felt necessary — not a lark but a surprisingly moving dazzler.
THE KNIGHTS DISPLAY DEEPLY COMMITTED MUSICMAKING SKILLS
It is a joy to see such deeply committed musicmaking. The Knights have no conductor; only the bassoonist and cellists play seated; every player is viscerally caught up in the shape of every phrase. That they suggest a rock band is not accidental, but the precision of balance and ensemble bespeaks the highest level of musicianship and preparation.
CHASING CLOUDS ON THE WAY TO 'JUPITER'
Camaraderie and shared enthusiasm for playing music are what drive the ensemble, and those qualities came through on Tuesday in an adventurous program.
OPTIMUM PLUCKING, SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS
Thursday evening’s concert by Wu Man and The Knights at Asia Society was a refreshing reminder of how much music gains when it is performed by friends who delight as much in their art as in one another’s company.
PLANES, BUSES, FUMES, BRAKES, GNATS AND MELODY
It is a measure of the young orchestra’s accomplishment that even in this program of decidedly non-outdoor-ready music, it held the attention of a hefty audience through the entire program.
NEW MODELS FROM INDIE ORCHESTRAS
…The best part of this handsomely packaged and persuasively performed disk is that you don’t have to know anything about themes or trends in orchestral economics to appreciate it.
CHAMBER PLAYERS' VARIATIONS IN THE KEY OF JOHN CAGE
The Knights, too, played snippets of old music, much of it with an Americana vibe, but their performance took Cage one step further, positing his experiments, which are now decades old, as one more classical element to be reinterpreted in our time.
FIREWORKS FROM CUBA, AND SCHUBERT THAT GROOVES: NEW CLASSICAL ALBUMS
Then there’s The Knights, a young chamber orchestra with a postmodern take on Schubert.
FROM ROMANTICISM TO THE BOLD AND NEW
Is there another orchestra that seems to be having as much fun when it plays as The Knights do?