Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

George CRUMB (b. 1929).
Complete Crumb Edition, Volume 4
Two Harlequins
Day of the Comet
The Realm of Morpheus

Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III)
Nocturnal Sounds (The Awakening)
The Advent
Music of the Starry Night

Susan Grace, Alice Rybak, (Pianos)
John Kinzie, David Colson (Percussion)
rec Colorado College, Aug 2000,
BRIDGE 9105 [64.40]
bridgerecords  Special Offer: 30% off Bridge's already low website price

Timbre and sound colours are (nearly) everything for George Crumb. He has pioneered elaborate developments in live electronics. His Dark Angels string quartet has become justly famous, and is now often played.

Zeitgeist (1987) for two pianos has one piece based on 6-tone chordal structures, another whimsical and unpredictable, a third needing rapid oscillations of the fingertip on a low Bb string, then a study on polyrhythmic clusters. The last, constructed from the echoing phenomenon, is preceded by The Realm of Morpheus, which is notated graphically.

Makrokosmos III (Music for a Summer Evening) is a major work of approx. 35 mins, for which the pianos are amplified and often set in a halo of evocative sounds, the odd-numbered movements on a large scale, with cosmic and philosophical programmes. They are separated by dreamlike intermezzi, a wistful Wanderer Fantasy mostly for the pianos alone, and Myth for the percussionists.

Crumb's music here is always easily accessible and often relatively simple - even perhaps simplistic in essence - its main constituent colouration from a wide sound palette of exotic instruments.

An earlier version of Makrokosmos III is reviewed .

See also an S&H report of George Crumb's recent appearance in London, in which he demonstrated the versatility of a very small drum kit, see - - the second half of David Starobin's recital was of contemporary pieces, mostly commissioned by and composed for Starobin including Mundus Canis, four ingenious pieces by George Crumb composed as portraits of family dogs. George Crumb himself contributed with precision and aplomb on a portable kit of percussion instruments, including maracas and a small gong lowered into a bucket of water. This unusual duo worked well, and the pieces could stand by themselves and enjoy a good performing life.

Mundus Canis is available on BRIDGE 9095

Peter Grahame Woolf

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