- Ann Crumb
- Randall Scarlata (Baritone)
- Jr. Artwell Matthews (Percussion)
- David Colson (Percussion)
- Paul Herrick (Percussion)
- Rachel Rudich (Flute)
- Marcantonio Barone (Piano)
Notes & Reviews:
Voices From The Morning Of The Earth: A Cycle of American Songs from North and South, East and West (2008) is the sixth of seven American Songbooks that occupied George Crumb for most of the millennium's opening decade. This recording (Volume 17 of Bridge's Crumb Edition) completes Bridge's cycle of Crumb's American Songbooks. The seven songbooks are approximately five hours in length, and constitute George Crumb's magnum opus. Also on this CD is Crumb's Idyll for the Misbegotten. The composer writes that "flute and drum are to me those instruments which most powerfully evoke the voice of nature. I have suggested that ideally (even if impractically) my Idyll should be "heard from afar, over a lake, on a moonlit evening in August." The Sleeper with words by Edgar Allan Poe, transforms Poe's lugubrious meditation on a dead beloved ("Soft may the worms about her creep!") into a haunting ode to a woman slumbering beneath the "mystic moon." George Crumb's complete American Songbook series can be heard on these CDs: BRIDGE 9413 (American Songbook VII); BRIDGE 9335 (American Songbook V); BRIDGE 9275A/B (American Songbooks II & IV); and BRIDGE 9218A/B (American Songbooks I & III).
American Record Guide, November/December 2015
An earlier work, The Sleeper, from 1984, sets a relatively rare poem by Poe, a natural poet for Crumb. Poe's seductive sound world influenced several French composers. Ravel claimed that his entire aesthetic philosophy was based on Poe's; Debussy spent much of his life trying to compose an opera based on 'The Fall of the House of Usher'. The Europeans came first, but by the later 20th and early 21st centuries Poe inspired settings by numerous Americans, including Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin, Philip Glass, Damon Ferrante, Augusta Read Thomas, and Deborah Drattell. Crumb's piece is one of the most authentically Poe-like, with piano harmonics invoking midnight, tolling 12 times as the singer resurrects Poe's dead beloved ("soft may the worms about her creep") beneath a "mystic moon".
This is mainly a vocal program, but it incudes a piece for chamber orchestra as well, the 1986 Idyll for the Misbegotten. This somber meditation on mankind's destruction of the environment is full of mysterious sounds for flute and percussion - "the instruments that most powerfully evoke the voice of nature", in Crumb's words. Bridge's recorded sound is resonant and sensitive to nuance, ideal for the music, the final touch on a great disc.
Recording information: California State University, Chico (07/28/2013); Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA (07/28/2013); California State University, Chico (11/18/2002); Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA (11/18/2002); California State University, Chico (2013-12-04&2013-12-05&2013-); Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA (2013-12-04&2013-12-05&2013-).
The songs' melodies are left intact -- although Crumb does break them down into individual phrases to work with. And while one phrase may be set in one key, the next may have a different tonal center. The disjointed nature of the phrases, and the clouds of sound that swirl around them cast these songs in new light.
I had heard the Dylan and Seeger songs so many times I no longer responded to them. Crumb strips away the good-time sing-along feel of those songs and gives them renewed emotional power. Sometimes its a dark power indeed. And made me pay attention and really consider the message in the words.
Also included is "An Idyll for the Misbegotten" (Images III) for amplified flute and percussion, and "The Sleeper" for mezzo-soprano and amplified piano. Both are atmospheric works that share some similarities with "Voices from the Morning." But without the anchor of the folk song, the works drift off to their own wonderfully strange (but perfectly logical) destinations.
Another important addition to the Bridge Records' George Crumb edition.
Submitted on 07/30/15 by RGraves321
Juilliard Orchestra conducted by Slatkin, Foss, Schwarz
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Steven R. Gerber (1948-2015): String Quartets nos 4-6; Fantasy, Fugue & Chaconne for viola and cello / Amernet Quartet
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Works DetailsCrumb, George : Voices from the Morning of the Earth, for 2 voices, piano & percussion quartet (American Songbook No
- Performers: Ann Crumb; Randall Scarlata (Baritone)
- Conductor: James Freeman
- Ensemble: Orchestral 2001
- Notes: Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA (2013-12-04&2013-12-05&2013-)
- Running Time: 48 min. 22 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Written: 2008
Crumb, George : An Idyll for the Misbegotten (Images III), for amplified flute & 3 percussionists
- Performers: Jr. Artwell Matthews (Percussion); David Colson (Percussion); Paul Herrick (Percussion); Rachel Rudich (Flute)
- Running Time: 11 min. 49 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Written: 1986
Crumb, George : Ancient Voices of Children, for mezzo- & boy soprano, oboe, mandolin, harp, amplified & toy piano &
- Performers: Marcantonio Barone (Piano); Ann Crumb
- Running Time: 4 min. 51 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Form: Vocal
- Written: 1970