GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: snyprrr on March 12, 2009, 08:53:38 PM

Title: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on March 12, 2009, 08:53:38 PM
i think he's the closest composer to me in terms of miles.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: snyprrr on March 12, 2009, 11:52:27 PM
seriously, i don't know where to begin with him.

i kind of like him some, but he likes to annoy me a lot too.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: MDL on March 13, 2009, 05:27:40 AM
Star Child made a big impression on me when I heard the UK premiere on the radio (Proms 1979 or 1980 coupled with Holst's Planets). I was a teenager and it was one of the first pieces of modern music I'd ever heard; it sounded completely out of this world. Well, it did back then. I've got the recording that was released a few years ago, and I enjoy giving it the occasional whirl. But after a few decades of listening to Stockhausen, Penderecki and Ligeti, Star Child doesn't seem that extraordinary. It ain't no Ligeti Requiem, that's for sure.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: gomro on March 13, 2009, 06:53:08 PM
Do you live in W.Va.?

His music leaves me cold. I like an element of gimmickry -- Haydn, for example, uses it brilliantly as a garnish -- but for Crumb, it seems like the main course.'

Crumb lives in Media, PA, I believe. He was born in Charleston, W.Va, same place I was born. As far as his music goes: there is a lot of it that I like, and it certainly doesn't sound like anyone else. Fave pieces: Black Angels, Voice of the Whale, Dream Sequence (Images II), Quest, Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III).
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: rockerreds on March 14, 2009, 08:45:54 AM
i think he's the closest composer to me in terms of miles.
Me,too.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: snyprrr on March 14, 2009, 12:18:33 PM
i'm in the classical music paradise of maryland.

i think more famous composers have come from maryland than any other state in the union,....hrrhmmm...yea, right.

maryland seems to have a musical curse of some kind. even Zappa moved (he went to Glen Burnie HS i believe...ah, Glen Burnie, the PCP capital of the world).

the only composer i know of was at Goucher Coll.- Robert Hall Lewis.

ARE there any composers from the lower east coast?

who IS the most famous Maryland composer?
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: UB on December 23, 2009, 09:13:26 AM
I am not a big fan of Crumb's music but for those who are or would like to explore some of it, you have two days to listen to in on R3. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p8hp7) There is also another program of his music on this week's Hear and Now. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pd9v9) Most of his best known works can be heard on these two broadcasts.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 05:36:46 PM
I'd like to hear his orchestral work A Haunted Landscape as I heard it's eerie and that's the way I like it. :D But seriously, any feedback regarding his orchestral music would be great. Kudos!
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: greg on October 16, 2010, 05:40:01 PM
I'd like to hear his orchestral work A Haunted Landscape as I heard it's eerie and that's the way I like it. :D But seriously, any feedback regarding his orchestral music would be great. Kudos!
That piece is okay- nothing special.
I haven't heard much of his orchestral music, but Star Child is a pretty good one. It has a little bit more content instead of just atmosphere, anyways.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: karlhenning on October 16, 2010, 05:40:19 PM
I'd like to hear his orchestral work A Haunted Landscape as I heard it's eerie and that's the way I like it. :D But seriously, any feedback regarding his orchestral music would be great. Kudos!

I heard it broadcast live on the radio way back. I'm actually not mad about the piece . . . Crumb's atmospheric, spacious sound works very intensely in a chamber context, but to me, it just sounded like he was making insufficient use of the orchestra.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 05:56:27 PM
Thanks Greg and Karl! I heard Black Angels on the radio a year or so ago and I ran away screaming like a little girly boy. Such fragile times for me.  ;D
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: karlhenning on October 16, 2010, 05:59:05 PM
I love Black Angels when I first heard it (back in the early 80s)! It hasn't aged so well for me.  But . . . I should go back to it, for curiosity's sake . . . .
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Brahmsian on October 16, 2010, 06:01:30 PM
I love Black Angels when I first heard it (back in the early 80s)! It hasn't aged so well for me.  But . . . I should go back to it, for curiosity's sake . . . .

I'll have to revisit it someday.  I tried listening to Black Angels a few years ago and was turned off by it.  ???  Mind you, I wasn't very accustomed to more modern classical back then and am much more now.  So, I will add it on to my 'revisit' list.  8)
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 06:07:18 PM
I, too, ChamberNut, could probably revisit the work and get something out of it now. I remember it being quite disturbing, which, again, I like....lol. :D
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: karlhenning on October 16, 2010, 06:07:44 PM
I'll have to revisit it someday.  I tried listening to Black Angels a few years ago and was turned off by it.  ???  Mind you, I wasn't very accustomed to more modern classical back then and am much more now.  So, I will add it on to my 'revisit' list.  8)

Found a Used - Like New Copy of the Kronos Quartet's Black Angels album for $3, so I pulled the trigger. I remembered that that was my first taste of the Shostakovich Eighth Quartet, too . . . .
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Mirror Image on October 16, 2010, 06:10:11 PM
Found a Used - Like New Copy of the Kronos Quartet's Black Angels album for $3, so I pulled the trigger. I remembered that that was my first taste of the Shostakovich Eighth Quartet, too . . . .

That Kronos Quartet recording has a wicked looking cover, which, again I like :D:
 
(http://img.maniadb.com/images/album/176/176894_1_f.jpg)
 
 
 
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Brahmsian on October 16, 2010, 06:12:24 PM
Found a Used - Like New Copy of the Kronos Quartet's Black Angels album for $3, so I pulled the trigger. I remembered that that was my first taste of the Shostakovich Eighth Quartet, too . . . .

That is indeed the recording I had listened to, same as you and MI.  Of course, I became a big fan of Shostakovich quartets, at least.  :D
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: greg on October 16, 2010, 06:17:45 PM
I love Black Angels when I first heard it (back in the early 80s)! It hasn't aged so well for me.  But . . . I should go back to it, for curiosity's sake . . . .
I guess you could say the same for me. I loved it at first and listened to it for awhile, but it's probably been several years since I listened.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: snyprrr on October 16, 2010, 07:39:05 PM
Same here, all.

Haha, wow, we are ALL marked by the Music Biz!! Whores all, haha!! It's nice to know there are certain equalizing forces, such as Zappa and the Kronos,... the, "even my nephew knows that piece" effect, haha. ;)

Black Angels benefits from the best recording possible, and I hear that the newerrr Bridge Series version is sonically spectacular, the one to have. The Kronos are a bit "produced", and claustrophobic, though, that's not really a bad thing.

Crumb doesn't really have that much orchestral music. A Haunted Landscape (remember that old NewWorld LP???, with Schuman,...ahhhh) is no great shakes, as has been stated. Nice though.

Nice to see someone's trying with Crumb. I do have trouble with requiring performers to,...er,..."perform", because, as seems to be the case, pianists don't have the best dramatic voices (or, the Kronos for that matter, yikes!).

And, exploiting the strings of the piano has never worked for me. Why is that?



Still, Black Angels is the grooviest music ever conceived,... really, come on,... it's pretty well out there,... sure beats the snot out of the Helikopter Quartett. (btw- what are some others???,...hmmm)
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Saul on October 17, 2010, 06:52:19 AM
I thought you were talking about a coffee cake.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Catison on October 17, 2010, 12:00:40 PM
Black Angels benefits from the best recording possible, and I hear that the newerrr Bridge Series version is sonically spectacular, the one to have. The Kronos are a bit "produced", and claustrophobic, though, that's not really a bad thing.

I heard the Miro Quartet perform that live at UT when the CD came out.  I was one of the lucky few who got a free CD by coming early.  I sat towards the front, right in the middle.  All I can say is that thinking about that performance still brings chills to me.   I held my breath the whole time and my palms were damp with sweat by the end.  It was amazing.  I haven't listened to the piece again since then.  It still holds a powerful image in my mind.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Brewski on October 17, 2010, 12:04:49 PM
I heard the Miro Quartet perform that live at UT when the CD came out.  I was one of the lucky few who got a free CD by coming early.  I sat towards the front, right in the middle.  All I can say is that thinking about that performance still brings chills to me.   I held my breath the whole time and my palms were damp with sweat by the end.  It was amazing.  I haven't listened to the piece again since then.  It still holds a powerful image in my mind.

Beautiful snapshot there, Brett.  (I'm a big fan of Black Angels, too.) 

--Bruce
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 01, 2011, 07:59:45 PM

 
(http://img.maniadb.com/images/album/176/176894_1_f.jpg)

This has always been a disc that stays close to my player, it's definitely a recording for certain and specific moods, but I believe it features one of the more interesting compilations of composers and their works on a disc.

I have two other George Crumb discs, both featuring chamber music and songs, I wouldn't call any of the works masterpieces, but I also wouldn't want to ever part with them, Crumb is certainly a one of a kind...it's nice to see he has his own thread  ;D
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: lescamil on July 01, 2011, 08:10:09 PM
What? Crumb certainly has masterpieces! I would call Black Angels and the Makrokosmos cycle 5 of the most significant masterpieces of the 20th century. His music may not be as deep as other "masters" but there is so much more to his music that conventional musical development (which he is not big on, really) that makes his music great. His exploration of timbre and sound in general influenced an entire generations of not only classical composers, but musicians in many genres.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 01, 2011, 08:22:01 PM
What? Crumb certainly has masterpieces! I would call Black Angels and the Makrokosmos cycle 5 of the most significant masterpieces of the 20th century. His music may not be as deep as other "masters" but there is so much more to his music that conventional musical development (which he is not big on, really) that makes his music great. His exploration of timbre and sound in general influenced an entire generations of not only classical composers, but musicians in many genres.

Sorry, I'll clarify...the "masterpiece"  in my post was referring to two other two discs I have of Crumb's other than Black Angels...I've always loved Black Angels, it was definitely one of my first enjoyable experience of truly modern music when I first bought the disc.

In fact, I just posted this video on my Twitter/Facebook page about a week ago...

http://www.youtube.com/v/qgr_w0-0caQ
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: some guy on July 01, 2011, 10:24:43 PM
For Black Angels, this is the one to have, I think:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Tp4hKbIfL._SS400_.jpg)

I had the VoxBox LP with the Concord Quartet, which was pretty good I recall. I didn't like the Kronos at all. They rushed through it as if they were late for their plane or something, or maybe just for dinner.

But the Brodsky. That is something special. Fierce, crisp, every twist and turn played razor sharp and precise without sacrificing any jagged roughness. If that's even possible.

Plus, the Brodsky has the Schubert quartet that Crumb quotes in his piece. And that is my favorite recording of the 14th, too. There, the Brodsky is all sweetness and light, subdued melancholy and passionate Sehnsucht. I could praise the disc more highly, but who would believe me?

Anyway, for someone like myself who was just discovering contemporary music in the early seventies, Crumb was a special composer. Quirky, mysterious, endlessly inventive and ingratiating. Ancient Voices of Children, Makrokosmos III, and Black Angels were my favorites. That was a good time generally. Major record labels had extensive new music offerings, and labels like Wergo and Mainstream were nothing but new music. Plus the smaller labels like Turnabout and Everest had some pretty sweet choices. A lot of the first electronic music I had was on Turnabout. And remember those magical Time and Mainstream LPs that Earle Brown put out? Good times! (And God bless Wergo, while I'm at it, here.)
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 02, 2011, 03:04:22 AM
For Black Angels, this is the one to have, I think:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Tp4hKbIfL._SS400_.jpg)

I had the VoxBox LP with the Concord Quartet, which was pretty good I recall. I didn't like the Kronos at all. They rushed through it as if they were late for their plane or something, or maybe just for dinner.

But the Brodsky. That is something special. Fierce, crisp, every twist and turn played razor sharp and precise without sacrificing any jagged roughness. If that's even possible.

Plus, the Brodsky has the Schubert quartet that Crumb quotes in his piece. And that is my favorite recording of the 14th, too. There, the Brodsky is all sweetness and light, subdued melancholy and passionate Sehnsucht. I could praise the disc more highly, but who would believe me?

Anyway, for someone like myself who was just discovering contemporary music in the early seventies, Crumb was a special composer. Quirky, mysterious, endlessly inventive and ingratiating. Ancient Voices of Children, Makrokosmos III, and Black Angels were my favorites. That was a good time generally. Major record labels had extensive new music offerings, and labels like Wergo and Mainstream were nothing but new music. Plus the smaller labels like Turnabout and Everest had some pretty sweet choices. A lot of the first electronic music I had was on Turnabout. And remember those magical Time and Mainstream LPs that Earle Brown put out? Good times! (And God bless Wergo, while I'm at it, here.)

Great! Thanks, some guy.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: lescamil on July 02, 2011, 10:18:46 AM
Sorry, I'll clarify...the "masterpiece"  in my post was referring to two other two discs I have of Crumb's other than Black Angels...I've always loved Black Angels, it was definitely one of my first enjoyable experience of truly modern music when I first bought the disc.

In fact, I just posted this video on my Twitter/Facebook page about a week ago...

http://www.youtube.com/v/qgr_w0-0caQ

Oh, sorry I didn't read that correctly. Thanks for the video link also.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 02, 2011, 12:12:19 PM
Oh, sorry I didn't read that correctly. Thanks for the video link also.

No problem, was glad to share the video. It's fascinating to watch.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2011, 08:06:48 PM
I've seen a crumb, but I've never seen a George Crumb. :P
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: lescamil on July 02, 2011, 09:20:29 PM
I've seen a crumb, but I've never seen a George Crumb. :P

(http://www.portraitwedding.co.uk/imgs/gallery/9484/9484_19604464794b253d3f917ac.jpg)

George is not pleased with that joke.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: DavidW on July 03, 2011, 06:18:40 PM
Black Angels is a great work, I need to hear other Crumb works in the future. :)
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Luke on July 04, 2011, 11:12:12 PM
As a close-up look at Crumb's piano techniques at work, the great Margaret Leng Tan's DVD of Makrokosmos I and II is hard to beat.

(http://i43.tower.com/images/mm106985994/makrokosmos-george-crumb-dvd-cover-art.jpg)
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: mjwal on July 05, 2011, 02:02:53 AM
For Black Angels, this is the one to have, I think:...

I had the VoxBox LP with the Concord Quartet, which was pretty good I recall. I didn't like the Kronos at all. They rushed through it as if they were late for their plane or something, or maybe just for dinner.

But the Brodsky. That is something special. Fierce, crisp, every twist and turn played razor sharp and precise without sacrificing any jagged roughness. If that's even possible.

Plus, the Brodsky has the Schubert quartet that Crumb quotes in his piece. And that is my favorite recording of the 14th, too. There, the Brodsky is all sweetness and light, subdued melancholy and passionate Sehnsucht. I could praise the disc more highly, but who would believe me?

Anyway, for someone like myself who was just discovering contemporary music in the early seventies, Crumb was a special composer. Quirky, mysterious, endlessly inventive and ingratiating. Ancient Voices of Children, Makrokosmos III, and Black Angels were my favorites. That was a good time generally. Major record labels had extensive new music offerings, and labels like Wergo and Mainstream were nothing but new music. Plus the smaller labels like Turnabout and Everest had some pretty sweet choices. A lot of the first electronic music I had was on Turnabout. And remember those magical Time and Mainstream LPs that Earle Brown put out? Good times! (And God bless Wergo, while I'm at it, here.)
Great post - you've really sold me that Brodsky disc. I remember those early to mid-70s, discovering Ancient Voices on a badly pressed Nonesuch LP, the Vox/Turnabout recordings of modern music, my first Black Angels by the Gaudeamus Quartet on a Philips LP, all of these in cut-out bins or as cheap imports (to Germany). Here's a discography of that quartet:
 http://www.georgecrumb.net/comp/black.html
I have the Kronos recording, but have never rated it so high - the Shostakovich is almost bland to my ears.
I have mildly enjoyed recent releases by Bridge of Crumb's music, like Star Child and the settings of traditional songs, but the buzz has gone for me - I think that over the years I got most out of his earlier vocal music like Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death and Apparition .
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: lescamil on January 06, 2012, 09:49:05 PM
Star Child requires four conductors because there are 4 separately conducted sections in 4 different tempi. There is one main conductor and 3 subordinate conductors, according to the score. In my opinion, Star Child is a nice work, but not one of Crumb's best. I would put this work in the category of music that is more trouble than it is worth. It got performed recently at a Total Immersion festival in England, but I won't expect to see it programmed much further in the future. Not only does it require four conductors, but it requires quadruple woodwinds, 6 horns, 7 trumpets, 8 percussionists, organ, solo soprano and trombone (both only needed for one movement!), two children's choirs, speaking men's choir, a huge string section, et cetera. Absolutely ridiculous demands for a work that is good at best, not great. Crumb is best with his chamber works, and I think he realizes that, having only a few works for orchestra.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: snyprrr on January 07, 2012, 11:28:26 PM
For Black Angels, this is the one to have, I think:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Tp4hKbIfL._SS400_.jpg)

I had the VoxBox LP with the Concord Quartet, which was pretty good I recall. I didn't like the Kronos at all. They rushed through it as if they were late for their plane or something, or maybe just for dinner.

But the Brodsky. That is something special. Fierce, crisp, every twist and turn played razor sharp and precise without sacrificing any jagged roughness. If that's even possible.

Plus, the Brodsky has the Schubert quartet that Crumb quotes in his piece. And that is my favorite recording of the 14th, too. There, the Brodsky is all sweetness and light, subdued melancholy and passionate Sehnsucht. I could praise the disc more highly, but who would believe me?

Anyway, for someone like myself who was just discovering contemporary music in the early seventies, Crumb was a special composer. Quirky, mysterious, endlessly inventive and ingratiating. Ancient Voices of Children, Makrokosmos III, and Black Angels were my favorites. That was a good time generally. Major record labels had extensive new music offerings, and labels like Wergo and Mainstream were nothing but new music. Plus the smaller labels like Turnabout and Everest had some pretty sweet choices. A lot of the first electronic music I had was on Turnabout. And remember those magical Time and Mainstream LPs that Earle Brown put out? Good times! (And God bless Wergo, while I'm at it, here.)

Have you heard the Miro on Bridge? You've hooked me fantasizing about that Teldec sound! I just checked the 'Black Angels' discography, and the only other dark horse might be the Cikada Quartet on... uh? uh?...Cala!! And the New York Quartet (with Paul Zukovsky) on LP really rip through Charles Jones's SQ No.6 (on CRI cd... great great piece), so, I'm wondering how that performance may be?
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: snyprrr on April 05, 2012, 05:53:44 PM
For Black Angels, this is the one to have, I think:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Tp4hKbIfL._SS400_.jpg)

I had the VoxBox LP with the Concord Quartet, which was pretty good I recall. I didn't like the Kronos at all. They rushed through it as if they were late for their plane or something, or maybe just for dinner.

But the Brodsky. That is something special. Fierce, crisp, every twist and turn played razor sharp and precise without sacrificing any jagged roughness. If that's even possible.

I've just listened to the Brodsky's twice, and yes, this performance, and recording, are a revelation. I just listened to the Concord a few days ago, and remembered your Post,... anyhow, this presentation of the music is absolutely thrilling! Truly, the scary bits are actually scary! And the way the... pffft, everything's just right perfectly balanced and in your face beautiful,... I call this the 'Arditti' performance to be sure!

It also brings home the helicopter sounds from Vietnam, making it the 'First' Helicopter Quartet (James!), and, after hearing this performance, I do think I like this a lot better than... well,let's just move on,... these helicopter sounds are really really creepy when played so...mm, Gloria Coates-ish (with a little Xenakis/Hiller... more Hiller).

It's so refreshing to be able to hear every track separately (which I haven't done yet). but I have yet to really indulge. I also must say that now I am at peace with Crumb's vocalizing, as this recording catches the male voices very well,... maybe I've finally gotten used to one of the greatest avant cliches of all time, the "eine,... zwei,...dreiiiiii...", anyhow, it works here.

I really trusted you on this recording, and it certainly elevated this piece to its rightful place as perhaps the most imaginative use of the String Quartet to date,... I mean, come on, it IS a little more variegated than Herr Herren's, no? And when players play this piece for all it's worth, like here, it really comes across as a Symphonic Chamber Opera... perhaps the ample headroom of the recording has something to do with this, for the recording is very much natural (as opposed to the Kronos's airless Skywalker Ranch (presumably?) recording), like the Vox recording, but, unlike THAT one, we're NOT sitting in the back row!!

I'm left with the image of the flying monkeys departing the witch's castle under dark grey skies.


btw- try the Petersen(sic?) Quartet on Capriccio for what some say is the last word in the Schubert. Very fast!!


But, I really can't say enough for the Brodsky's 'Black Angels'. It probably should have been nominated for a Grammy.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: TheGSMoeller on April 05, 2012, 06:08:04 PM
I've just listened to the Brodsky's twice, and yes, this performance, and recording, are a revelation. I just listened to the Concord a few days ago, and remembered your Post,... anyhow, this presentation of the music is absolutely thrilling! Truly, the scary bits are actually scary! And the way the... pffft, everything's just right perfectly balanced and in your face beautiful,... I call this the 'Arditti' performance to be sure!

It also brings home the helicopter sounds from Vietnam, making it the 'First' Helicopter Quartet (James!), and, after hearing this performance, I do think I like this a lot better than... well,let's just move on,... these helicopter sounds are really really creepy when played so...mm, Gloria Coates-ish (with a little Xenakis/Hiller... more Hiller).

It's so refreshing to be able to hear every track separately (which I haven't done yet). but I have yet to really indulge. I also must say that now I am at peace with Crumb's vocalizing, as this recording catches the male voices very well,... maybe I've finally gotten used to one of the greatest avant cliches of all time, the "eine,... zwei,...dreiiiiii...", anyhow, it works here.

I really trusted you on this recording, and it certainly elevated this piece to its rightful place as perhaps the most imaginative use of the String Quartet to date,... I mean, come on, it IS a little more variegated than Herr Herren's, no? And when players play this piece for all it's worth, like here, it really comes across as a Symphonic Chamber Opera... perhaps the ample headroom of the recording has something to do with this, for the recording is very much natural (as opposed to the Kronos's airless Skywalker Ranch (presumably?) recording), like the Vox recording, but, unlike THAT one, we're NOT sitting in the back row!!

I'm left with the image of the flying monkeys departing the witch's castle under dark grey skies.


btw- try the Petersen(sic?) Quartet on Capriccio for what some say is the last word in the Schubert. Very fast!!


But, I really can't say enough for the Brodsky's 'Black Angels'. It probably should have been nominated for a Grammy.

This is good to hear, I've been eyeing some more Crumb recordings from Bridge but have always kept the Brodsky as a possibility.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake
Post by: snyprrr on November 29, 2012, 08:56:53 AM
Finding myself back at square one with Crumb, looking for another cd. Right now, Haunted Landscape seems to be the place to go, if for no other reason than there might be actually more musical sounds than in much of his silence strewn pieces that one has to crank up, then rush to turn down...

There's a ColLegno disc with the 3 main Orchestral Works, including HL, but I just don't think I can handle the dated sounds of the other two pieces. Then, there's choosing between Ancient Voices of Children, Night of the Four Moons, Lux Aeterna,...

Then there's REALLY sorting out the Piano Music. WHO has the best actual 'voice' here? I just can't stand the sound of most musicians' voices, especially in Crumb. Plus, I haven't made my way through them yet, so I don't even remember them (surely 10 seconds will be enough though, haha!! :o).

Vox Bal... might also be the ticket? Voice of the Misbegotten?
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake
Post by: petrarch on November 29, 2012, 11:59:57 AM
Then there's REALLY sorting out the Piano Music. WHO has the best actual 'voice' here? I just can't stand the sound of most musicians' voices, especially in Crumb. Plus, I haven't made my way through them yet, so I don't even remember them (surely 10 seconds will be enough though, haha!! :o).

Vox Bal... might also be the ticket? Voice of the Misbegotten?

I have the Makrokosmos set on Mute (on DVD), but to be honest I never explored it deeply, even though I have a feeling it would be worth it. And I got Vox Balenae last year, but haven't spun it yet.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake
Post by: snyprrr on November 29, 2012, 12:47:42 PM
I have the Makrokosmos set on Mute (on DVD), but to be honest I never explored it deeply, even though I have a feeling it would be worth it. And I got Vox Balenae last year, but haven't spun it yet.

You guys ::) ;D

I'm going to have to YT it.

Someone called Crumb 'anti-music', meaning, it was 'art' music, and NEEDED the visual element (the outside). I'd have to agree with much of Crumb, but, sometimes he also makes the visual 'audio' also.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on January 16, 2013, 06:22:27 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Works-George-Crumb/dp/B0000030DZ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1358389249&sr=1-1&keywords=crumb+vox+zizi


Well, I'm always skeptical when it concerns Crumb, but I thought Vox Balaene might hold promise. There's a few cds available, including the county library classic on NewWorld with Zizi Mueller on flute, and a newer Naxos, along with a whole lot of other recitals.

Vox Balaene actually fills up the spaces with music, keeping the silence and pianississimo at bay (unlike some Crumb, that you fear for your speakers' sake), and the music is of an arch, dramatic quality, not unlike an underwater Black Angels, but shorter. The vocalizations are limited to some cool flute effects, and, overall, the amplified sound structure presents Crumb in the best possible non-visual light; meaning, even though you can't see the cellist wearing a mask, you KNOW, you can HEAR that sooomething is going on,... all the sounds and noises work together for good here for me. Like I said, Crumb can disappoint me, so, I'm thankful the wait was not in vain.

An Idyll for the Misbegotten is a flute solo with three percussionists, that, unless you crank it up, sounds like virtually nothing, and would surely annoy Mirror Image! ;D The second go-round I did crank it up: distant thunder from the timpani holds down a good portion of the piece, and is quite effective if heard correctly. This might have also worked well on another NewWorld disc, 'None But the Lonely Flute', with similar works by Cage, Feldman, Babbitt, etc.,...

The difficulty in aural transmission (under-mic'd recordings) is what usually kills it for me with Crumb recordings. That, and the crazy vocalizings in the non-vocal works; so, even if one likes a particular Crumb piece, one has to HEAR it to like it. If the whoosings of the piano strings aren't caught well,... well, they're not caught, and the piece sounds like pocket pool. On the NewWorld cd I heard, the elements are fairly well caught, but,... wait...

HERE'S the problem: I was at a church hearing some Crumb,... very focused, concentrating,... niiice... when all of a sudden the furnace cranks up, and... well, it SUCKED. :'( That's the problem with Crumb: you need a hyperbaric chamber to hear everything sometimes. ???


This recording also had an early group of vocal setting from the '60s, the Madrigals, Books I-IV, starring Jan DeGaetani, with flute(s), contrabass, harp, and 2 percussions. This is by far the longest Crumb for me at over a half hour, broken into 12 sections. For me, it's rough going, even with DeGaetani's incomparable voice some EVERYTHING! :o,... here, the 'unfinished' quality comes to the fore for me,... the stuff I don't like about Crumb. The ensemble seems to be collectively shuffling their feet half the time, but I am unkind. To someone less jaded it may be a revelation (certainly to unsuspecting neighbors, haha!).

Well, if I can handle the Madrigals, I may venture on to Ancient Voices of Children, of course in the standard issue Nonesuch. But, the take away today is that MANY/MOST people CAN enjoy Vox Balaene: I'd say it may be a good piece to introduce someone to the extreme avant-garde. See it 'live'!
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2013, 06:50:09 PM
An Idyll for the Misbegotten is a flute solo with three percussionists, that, unless you crank it up, sounds like virtually nothing, and would surely annoy Mirror Image! ;D The second go-round I did crank it up: distant thunder from the timpani holds down a good portion of the piece, and is quite effective if heard correctly. This might have also worked well on another NewWorld disc, 'None But the Lonely Flute', with similar works by Cage, Feldman, Babbitt, etc.,...

Yuck. Yeah, I don't like works like this and I also don't like the notion of hearing a work correctly. I either respond to it or I don't. Proper listening for me is going through my stereo system. ;) The work either has meat in it and something to hold onto or I'll never listen to it again. I get tired of these 'intellectual' composers who don't think about their audience. I don't know if Crumb cares about his audience or even who listens to his music, but music is meant to be heard, so he's got to have some kind of care. With that said, I did hear a work by Crumb I enjoyed not too long ago. I believe it was was called Haunted Landscape (correct title?). An eerie piece for sure.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: springrite on January 16, 2013, 06:53:19 PM
John, never mind the analysis. You will like some Crumb for sure. I like all of them with no wanting for visuals or what-have-you. Pay up to find out. (hehee...)
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2013, 06:54:26 PM
John, never mind the analysis. You will like some Crumb for sure. I like all of them with no wanting for visuals or what-have-you. Pay up to find out. (hehee...)

Thanks, Paul. Yeah, I already like Haunted Landscape, so that's a start. :)
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on January 17, 2013, 08:41:45 AM
Yuck. Yeah, I don't like works like this and I also don't like the notion of hearing a work correctly. I either respond to it or I don't. Proper listening for me is going through my stereo system. ;) The work either has meat in it and something to hold onto or I'll never listen to it again. I get tired of these 'intellectual' composers who don't think about their audience. I don't know if Crumb cares about his audience or even who listens to his music, but music is meant to be heard, so he's got to have some kind of care. With that said, I did hear a work by Crumb I enjoyed not too long ago. I believe it was was called Haunted Landscape (correct title?). An eerie piece for sure.

Haha, heared 'correctly' simply meant 'heard' at ALL, haha. But, yea, I agree that Composers who use 'pppppp' as an IRONIC thing should be kicked! Ow!! That said, the Vox Balaene, though the same kind of thing, totally works,... there is even some Schubertian beauty htere.

Haunted Landscape WANTS to be annoying, but succeeds because the forces involved preclude super super quietness. I think Crumb did well here, and, it may be the one piece to make converts (BUT, will the converted REMAIN converted, haha?!?!)


John, never mind the analysis. You will like some Crumb for sure. I like all of them with no wanting for visuals or what-have-you. Pay up to find out. (hehee...)

Which of these piano works do you like best?

Makrokosmos I

Makrokosmos II

Makrokosmos III: Music for a Summer Evening

Makrokosmos IV(?): Celestial Mechanics

Zeitgeist

Otherworldly Resonances



I DO have problems with the vocalizing (unless, of course, they sound GOOD (which I haven't heard yet)).
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2013, 09:03:27 AM
Haha, heared 'correctly' simply meant 'heard' at ALL, haha. But, yea, I agree that Composers who use 'pppppp' as an IRONIC thing should be kicked! Ow!! That said, the Vox Balaene, though the same kind of thing, totally works,... there is even some Schubertian beauty htere.

Haunted Landscape WANTS to be annoying, but succeeds because the forces involved preclude super super quietness. I think Crumb did well here, and, it may be the one piece to make converts (BUT, will the converted REMAIN converted, haha?!?!)

I see what you mean, snyprrr. A lot of Crumb's music, or at least what I sampled from NML, sounded really quiet. It's almost like he's hiding something. Like the dead body in the trunk of his car.  :D
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: lescamil on January 17, 2013, 11:01:10 AM
Makrokosmos I

Makrokosmos II

Makrokosmos III: Music for a Summer Evening

Makrokosmos IV(?): Celestial Mechanics

Zeitgeist

Otherworldly Resonances

In my opinion, Makrokosmos III and IV are some of the greatest works Crumb has composed. I've seen Makrokosmos III performed live, and it was great. I saw it performed in an outside venue, with the sounds of nature and all, and everything still worked out great. Some of the sounds of the insects went quite well with some of the special effects!
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on January 17, 2013, 08:27:43 PM
I see what you mean, snyprrr. A lot of Crumb's music, or at least what I sampled from NML, sounded really quiet. It's almost like he's hiding something. Like the dead body in the trunk of his car.  :D

Haha, that's wonderful Crumb imagery!

Read lescamil's Last Post. I think that's the essence of Crumb, being there when all the extra musical aspects take the already wonderful aural element and add it to all the other senses,... no farting, please! Perhaps even the smells/fragrances need to be proscribed (or banned) by the Composer to ensure the type of reaction they're seeking?? haha

That's sounds kinda Stockhausen? Scriabin?

But, I think a lot of Modern Music is written for the perfect performance under the stars with the insects as part of the programme,... surely they wouldn't want a jet to suddenly fly by,... or one person's offensive cologne to distract,... or what have you.

That's funny! ;D


Here's my Crumb:

Sonata for Solo Cello (Haimovitz/DG): Doesn't everyone have that cd?

Night Music (Mutter/DG)


Eleven Echoes of Autumn (Caprice?) A nice Chamber Work.


Idyll/Vox/Madrigals (NewWorld)


Black Angels (Brodsky SQ/Teldec) Wonderful recording.
Black Angels (VoxBox) I'd like to hear the Zukofsky SQ on CRIrcd.
Black Angels (Kronos SQ/Nonesuch) Who hasn't heard this? If you really like the piece, you have another.

Haunted Landscape (NewWorld) The best of the 3 Orchestral Works, imo.

Ancient Voices/Makro III (Nonesuch) I guess I'll have to get this now?


Yes, that's about what I like from Crumb. Everything after Haunted Landscape I just can't really see me getting into. But, frankly, Crumb should be thankful, right?


The one work I'd like to hear is the '70s Chamber Work Dream Sequence, with the off-stage singing glasses. Anyone have this, and which version?
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2013, 08:35:10 PM
Thanks for the feedback, snyprrr. I like the name of this thread: The Crumb Cake Cafe. On a related note, has anyone ever tried some crumb cake? Where does one acquire some good crumb cake? At a fresh bakery? In your mom's kitchen? At the local 711? At the mortuary? Oops...wrong thread. :D
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on January 17, 2013, 09:25:22 PM
Thanks for the feedback, snyprrr. I like the name of this thread: The Crumb Cake Cafe. On a related note, has anyone ever tried some crumb cake? Where does one acquire some good crumb cake? At a fresh bakery? In your mom's kitchen? At the local 711? At the mortuary? Oops...wrong thread. :D

thanks ..I like that coffee cake with the crumblies on top, yum! Entemann's?
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2013, 09:35:59 PM
thanks ..I like that coffee cake with the crumblies on top, yum! Entemann's?

I like homemade coffee cake and, yes, with the crumbles on top. Goes good with hot tea. Oh, and I guess coffee would go with it too. ::) :D
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: springrite on January 18, 2013, 08:19:20 AM



Which of these piano works do you like best?

Makrokosmos I

Makrokosmos II

Makrokosmos III: Music for a Summer Evening

Makrokosmos IV(?): Celestial Mechanics

Zeitgeist

Otherworldly Resonances




My favorite among these works: Music for a Summer Evening, hands down.
My favorite Crumb overall? The Cello Sonata and the Madrigals.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on January 18, 2013, 08:28:13 AM
My favorite among these works: Music for a Summer Evening, hands down.
My favorite Crumb overall? The Cello Sonata and the Madrigals.

mm, those Madrigals are pretty...uh...wacky!

Do you like Lux Aeterna or Frederico's Little Songs for Children?
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: springrite on January 18, 2013, 08:30:19 AM
mm, those Madrigals are pretty...uh...wacky!

Do you like Lux Aeterna or Frederico's Little Songs for Children?

Not at all. Not wacky enough for me, maybe?
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on January 18, 2013, 08:38:36 AM
Not at all. Not wacky enough for me, maybe?

Well, that settles it! ;) After the classic Nonesuch, it's bedtime for Lorca!! thanks
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe CRUMB WARNING LISTEN!!
Post by: snyprrr on September 01, 2016, 08:25:09 AM
Anyone care to join a Crumbcussion?


I have two/three recordings of the much maligned 'Black Angels' (Brodsky:Excellent. Concord/Premiere?, Kronos/Eh), and the Nonesuch recital with:

An Idyll for the Misbegotten
Vox Balaenae
Madrigals


and the NewWorld disc with 'Haunted Landscape'.




I can't take too much Crumb. This may be the best overall Discography to have?

The worst of Cage+Stockhausen,... or the best?... or what????




Can't stand pretentiously quiet music that explodes and then goes quiet, then explodes, etc etc....



Am enjoying DeGaetani in 'Madrigals' right now.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on September 01, 2016, 06:41:26 PM
Just as I thought! :laugh:
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on September 01, 2016, 07:16:36 PM
I sampled a bunch of stuff on YT today and came away shaking my head over Crumb. I realized I've tread this path before and come to the same conclusion. 'Black Angels', as much as you may love or loathe it, seems to be his absolute best piece... here are some findings:

1) We've all heard about "prehistoric" Crumb, usually embodied by the seemingly ubiquitous Solo Cello Sonata of the '50s. Besides that, there's not much to see here.

2) I liked the 'Four Nocturnes (Night Music II)' for violin and piano, Mutter/Orkis, though, the reviewer much prefers the Jecklin disc. 'Night Music I', for ensemble with soprano, I liked until I heard that typically pretentious sounding Lorca-like Spanish declamations,- that seems to be the one lingering qualm I have about all the vocal works, except for maybe 'Lux Aeterna'.

'11 Echoes of Autumn' also in his early mature style...

3) Then you've got the main corpus of mature Chamber Works (besides BA), 'Vox Balaenae', 'Lux Aeterna', 'Dream Sequence', and 'An Idyll for the Misbegotten'. These can be "groovy", and I was enjoying all but 'Dream sequence', which I just couldn't hear, maybe retry. The original LPs have been reissued by that new SONY label? I have the NewWorld "Vox/Idyll", with the vocal 'Madrigals', and that might best the best overall try here. There is also a Jecklin'HatHut disc that is supposed to be excellent, with all the pieces, I think.

I'm not interested in anything after the mid-'80s 'Idyll', and the cool orchestral piece 'A Haunted Landscape'.


4) 'Black Angels'

Couldn't stand this the moment I heard the Kronos so long ago. Today I sampled all available recordings I think:

a) First Recordings: The Concord String Quartet (VoxBox) vs The New York Quartet (Zukofsky et al;CRI LP (not on CD))

Zukovsky's SQ really captures the evil sound of the the cascading, ghostly glissandi, probably more so than anyone on record- it's very controlled and creepy. Besides this, a few other raw touches (and a slightly closer microphone) edge this one out, though the Concord really is quite good (though the sound quality is just a wee bit thin).

b) Kronos just gets dismissed....

c) that leaves the modern recordings, and there is a lot of ballyhoo:

Brodsky SQ 1992 Teldec
Cikada SQ            Cala
Miro SQ                Bridge
Diotima SQ 2011? Auvidis-Montaigne

Just from a cursory survey I found the Cikada to be the most difficult to hear, in terms of dynamics. The Diotima seemed to have a few ideas; I'm not sure if I liked their aural positioning. The Miro seemed very well recorded, but for me it was the Brodsky that pulled it all together. The Teldec sound captures every nuance, the players play everything just right, and the positioning in the auditorium is, as with Teldec, perfectly judged.Nothing is "too quiet".





Listening now to 'Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death', one of the 'Vietnam' pieces, for baritone and ensemble (with lots of electric guitar!), but it's just too much for me ,really...Pierrot on LSD? But it's kind of pretentious sounding... I don't like it... 'Time and the River', eh...




HAD A REEEALLY HARD TIME WITH THE PIANO MUSIC- HELP

Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe CRUMB WARNING LISTEN!!
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on September 03, 2016, 09:57:17 AM
Anyone care to join a Crumbcussion?

I heard "Ancient Voices of Children" some years ago at a CSO concert, conducted by Mehta. I was impressed by the piece, partly because of the spatial elements which don't come off too well in recording.

The second half of the program was Bruckner's 4th Symphony. It was one of the most strangely put-together concert programs I have seen. First half, handful of musicians wandering about the stage, making funny noises. Second half, big romantic symphony.

I also have the Nonesuch recording of it, and the one of "Music for a Summer Evening." I enjoy the latter as a piece of mood music but don't come back to it too often.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe CRUMB WARNING LISTEN!!
Post by: TheGSMoeller on September 03, 2016, 11:02:19 AM
I heard "Ancient Voices of Children" some years ago at a CSO concert, conducted by Mehta. I was impressed by the piece, partly because of the spatial elements which don't come off too well in recording.

The second half of the program was Bruckner's 4th Symphony. It was one of the most strangely put-together concert programs I have seen. First half, handful of musicians wandering about the stage, making funny noises. Second half, big romantic symphony.

I also have the Nonesuch recording of it, and the one of "Music for a Summer Evening." I enjoy the latter as a piece of mood music but don't come back to it too often.

Two pieces of Crumb I have on record, I like them both very much.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: snyprrr on September 04, 2016, 06:24:53 AM
OK, I'll give Makro 3 and 4 another try...

WHO??
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Mandryka on April 06, 2019, 01:04:24 AM
the Makrokosmos cycle 5 of the most significant masterpieces of the 20th century.

Is there a Makrokosmos Cycle 5? (I can only find 4)
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: TheGSMoeller on April 06, 2019, 04:07:06 AM
Is there a Makrokosmos Cycle 5? (I can only find 4)

Only 4, I've never seen, or heard of a 5th before.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: North Star on April 06, 2019, 12:15:56 PM
Is there a Makrokosmos Cycle 5? (I can only find 4)
The four and Black Angels number 5 together, though.  :)

What? Crumb certainly has masterpieces! I would call Black Angels and the Makrokosmos cycle 5 of the most significant masterpieces of the 20th century. His music may not be as deep as other "masters" but there is so much more to his music that conventional musical development (which he is not big on, really) that makes his music great. His exploration of timbre and sound in general influenced an entire generations of not only classical composers, but musicians in many genres.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: Mandryka on April 07, 2019, 08:58:11 PM
The four and Black Angels number 5 together, though.  :)

Ahhh, I see!
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: TheGSMoeller on April 08, 2019, 02:04:50 AM
The four and Black Angels number 5 together, though.  :)

Good morning/day, Karlo.
I'm confused, are you, or lescamil, saying that Black Angels is considered the 5th Makrokosmos?
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: North Star on April 08, 2019, 04:17:53 AM
Good morning/day, Karlo.
I'm confused, are you, or lescamil, saying that Black Angels is considered the 5th Makrokosmos?
Good morning, Greg! No, I was trying to clarify that lescamil meant that the 4 cycles of Makrokosmos, as well as the Black Angels quartet are what he would call 5 of the most significant masterpieces of the 20th century.
Title: Re: George Crumb
Post by: TheGSMoeller on April 08, 2019, 05:38:35 AM
Good morning, Greg! No, I was trying to clarify that lescamil meant that the 4 cycles of Makrokosmos, as well as the Black Angels quartet are what he would call 5 of the most significant masterpieces of the  20th century.

Thanks, friend. I don’t know why I was having trouble with that  ;D
I even went as far as to search the web for Makrokosmos 5!


Curious as to what you Crumbers (Crumb Fans) find to be his best work(s). Black Angels is always near or at the top of the list, mostly because it was my intro to Crumb. Ancient Voices and Quest are two others I absolutely adore. Let me think a bit more and I'll make a nifty little list.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: Mirror Image on December 16, 2020, 12:57:02 PM
Thought I would revive this thread. I received all of the Crumb Bridge recordings today (bought all of them via Bridge’s website) and I’m really looking forward to digging into this interesting composer’s oeuvre.
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: Mirror Image on December 16, 2020, 01:57:06 PM
In the meantime, here are a few videos that may be of interest:

https://www.youtube.com/v/z6h-hpNyjxQ

https://www.youtube.com/v/Pp_7yaccb-Y

https://www.youtube.com/v/-9B2WtNtaW8

https://www.youtube.com/v/5xo8SHjTxpc
Title: Re: The Crumb Cake Cafe
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 05, 2021, 04:08:53 PM
Thought I would revive this thread. I received all of the Crumb Bridge recordings today (bought all of them via Bridge’s website) and I’m really looking forward to digging into this interesting composer’s oeuvre.

Hey, John. I have most of the Bridge series discs and they are fantastic. So much great music to discover.
I hope you enjoy!