GEORGE CRUMB (b.1929): Volume 18 - The Yellow Moon of Andalusia for Mezzo-Soprano and Amplfied Piano*, Yesteryear for Mezzo-Soprano, Amplified Piano and Percussion*, Celestial Mechanics for Amplified Piano Four Hands (Quattro Mani)*, Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik for Piano. * - First Recordings.
Catalogue Number: 11T050
Description: Another essential volume in this marvellous series exploring the products of Crumb's unique and extraordinarily fertile imagination. The works here are centred around a Crumb staple, the amplified, prepared (often flexibly, while being played) and subject to many (though not all that anybody has ever tried; Crumb's ear for timbre in musical context is very specific, and his soundworld is so recognisable because his methods are so far from random) forms of extended playing. The booklet notes provide a lot of genuinely fascinating detail about how the sounds are produced; as a listener, the breathtaking range of sonorities, as much at the service of the music as those of orchestra or organ in more conventional repertoire, are an integral part of the musical experience. Favourite sounds include direct contact on the strings, stroking or tapping on the strings with specific objects, pedal effects and tapping in precisely prescribed locations inside the instrument. Despite the constant sonic innovation, the musical content is not especially avant-garde; Crumb uses chords, intervals and melodic lines (and in Mitternachtmusik, delicious little quotations from Wagner, Strauss, Debussy and Thelonious Monk) that are seldom more harsh or unapproachable than, say, Messiaen's. Celestial Mechanics (1979/2012) is a partial rewriting of the last section of Crumb's celebrated classic Makrokosmos; The Yellow Moon (2012) sets Lorca's poetry with accompaniments that perfectly underscore the texts' enigmatic, fate-filled imagery; and Yesteryear (2005/2013) is an extended (in every sense) vocalise exploration of François Villon's famous phrase "But where are the snows of yesteryear?" utilising every possible vocal technique to great theatrical effect. Texts included. Tony Arnold (mezzo), Marcantonio Barone (piano), David Nelson & William Kerrigan (percussion).