Overview

George Crumb

(b. 1929)


Quick Reference

(b Charleston, West Virginia, 1929).

Amer. composer. Taught pf. and comp. at Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, 1959–64. Joined mus. dept., Univ. of Pa., 1965, becoming prof. of humanities 1983. His mus. is highly individual. Early influence was Webern, and has developed interest in new sonorities combined with a comp. technique which is sometimes fragmented and sometimes aleatory. This is not employed for freakish effect and his presentation of his ideas remains comprehensible, as in his 1972 fantasy‐pieces for amplified pf. called Makrokosmos which employ many unusual pf. methods with poetic results. His other works incl.:

orch.:

Variazioni

(1959);

Echoes of time and the River

(1967, also as mus. th. 1970);

A Haunted Landscape

(1984).

voice(s) & instr(s).:

Night Music I

, sop., pf. or cel., perc. (1963);

Madrigals, Book I

, sop., vib., db. (1965);

Book II

, sop., fl., perc. (1965);

Book III

, sop., hp., 1 perc. (1969);

Book IV

, sop., fl., hp., db., 1 perc. (1969);

Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death

, bar., elec. gui., elec. db., amp. pf., amp. hpd., 2 perc. (1968);

Night of the 4 Moons

, alt., alto fl., banjo., elec. vc., 1 perc. (1969);

Ancient Voices of Children

, sop., boy sop., ob., mandolin., hp., elec. pf., 3 perc. (1970);

Lux aeterna for 5 Masked Players

, sop., bfl., sitar, 2 perc. (1971);

Star‐Child

, sop., children's vv., male spkrs., bellringers, orch. (1977);

Apparition

, sop., amp. pf. (1979);

Federico's Little Songs

, sop., fl., perc. (1986);

Unto the Hills

, sop., pf., perc. qt. (2001);

Winds of Destiny

, sop., pf., perc. qt. (2004).

instrumental:

str. qt. (1954); vc. sonata (1955); 5 pieces, pf. (1962);

4 Nocturnes (Night Music II)

, vn., pf. (1963);

Eleven Echoes of Autumn

, vn., fl., cl., pf. (1965);

Black Angels (Images I)

, ‘electric’ str. qt. (1970);

Vox balaenae (Voice of the Whale)

, 3 masked players, elec. fl., elec. vc., amp. pf. (1971);

Dream Sequence (Images II)

, vn., vc., pf., perc. (1976);

A Little Suite for Christmas, ad 1979

, pf. (1979);

Gnomic Variations

, pf. (1981);

Pastoral Drone

, org. (1982);

Processional

, pf. (1983);

An Idyll for the Misbegotten

, amp. fl., 3 perc. (1985);

Zeitgeist

, 2 amp. pf. (1987);

Easter Dawning

, carillon (1991);

Quest

, gui., sax., hp., db., perc. (1994);

Mundus canis

, gui., perc. (1998);

Eine kleine Mitternachtmusik

, pf. (2002);

Otherworldly Resonances

, 2 pf. (2003).

Several of Crumb's works are settings of the poems of Lorca.


Reference entries