Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bridge George Crumb Edition & A Few More

George Crumb was one of the most distinctive compositional voices to emerge in the second half of the twentieth century. A charter member of the "New Virtuosity" movement, Crumb developed an expansive musical palette noted for its emphasis on extended instrumental and vocal techniques, its rich and sophisticated musical allusions, an evocative theatricality, and a poet's sense of sonorous detail. - AllMusic

...Examples include seagull effect for the cello (Vox Balaenae), metallic vibrato for the piano (Five Pieces for Piano), and using a mallet to play the strings of a contrabass (Madrigals, Book I), among numerous others. He is not an electronic music composer, however many works call for amplification of instruments, such as Black Angels (string quartet) or Ancient Voices of Children (mixed ensemble). Crumb's music contains an intense humanism, which is reflected in his personal definition of music: "a system of proportions in the service of spiritual impulse." - Wikipedia

"Bridge's decision to embark on a complete edition of George Crumb's music remains one of the most significant recording projects currently in progress, as well as one of the most artistically successful." - ClassicsToday

Bridge Records added many recordings to Spotify this week, all eight released volumes of the Elliott Carter Edition are available now (last week there were only three); I have incorporated them into the Carter playlist from last December.

Today's playlist gathers all 15 volumes of the ongoing George Crumb Edition, except for vol. 14 which is a DVD, in one place; together with some significant Crumb recordings on other labels, such as Anne-Sophie Mutter's Four Nocturnes, Kronos Quartet's Black Angels, and Eighth Blackbird's Voice of the Whale. Start with these works and Music For A Summer Evening if you are not familiar with the composer. Vol. 9, featuring the hauntingly beautiful Ancient Voices of Children, is also a good starting point.

Get this collection in one Spotify playlist here: Bridge George Crumb Edition & More (315 tracks, total time: 19 hours) Ctrl (CMD) + G to browse in album view. See the Bridge site for more information about this edition, which the composer has not only supervised all of the recordings, but has also taken part in them as pianist, percussionist and narrator.