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ClassicsOnline Home » CRUMB: Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death / Quest
George Crumb’s reputation as a composer of hauntingly beautiful scores has made him one of the most frequently performed composers today. Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death, scored for baritone, electric instruments and percussion, is based on the poetry of Federico García Lorca, with its fantastically rich expression and evocative power. It provides an admirable vehicle for musical re-creation: ‘...a language to complement this very beautiful poetry’ in the composer’s words. It is coupled on this disc with Quest, a sextet led by an acoustic guitar and featuring a host of unusual percussion instruments, including the Appalachian hammered dulcimer, the African talking drum, and the Mexican rain stick.
Designed to enthrall
Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death composed by George Crumb is a strange and disquieting work. A guitar, male voices, piano, harpsichord, violin and percussion perform fragmented and fractious songs. Imagine if some kind of unhinged esoteric cult had a penchant for creating music... well this is what it might just sound like!
Fascinating and bizarre in equal measure. The second work is entitled Quest, and we have more peculiar textures of sound to enjoy and be intrigued by. Once again it is a guitar-led journey along dark paths in search of something the listener can only guess at. Minimalist music (adventurous and idiosyncratic) designed to enthrall.more....
By Dominy Clements
By Julie Williams
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CRUMB: Songs, Drones and Refrains of Death / Quest