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CRUMB: Vox Balaenae / Federico's Little Songs for Children / 11 Echoes of Autumn

Composer(s):Crumb, George
Period(s) Contemporary
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber MusicVocal
Catalogue 8.559205
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 6.99


George Crumb’s reputation as a composer of hauntingly beautiful scores has made him one of the most frequently performed composers today. He has won numerous awards and prizes, including the Pulitzer, and a 2004 Musical America ‘Composer of the Year’ laurel. Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) is scored for amplified flute, cello and piano, and was inspired by a tape recording of whale songs that the composer had heard. Federico’s Little Songs for Children originated in Lorca’s Canciones para niños, and employs all four members of the flute family, performed by the celebrated Canadian flutist Robert Aitken.


Review By Kenneth Page,Limelight Magazine,March 2007

Fortunately, the CD booklet includes the composer’s own very readable notes. Canadian flautist Robert Aitken leads this showcase of Crumb’s imaginative and descriptive contemporary music. For Vox Balanae, Aitken’s amplified flute is joined by similarly amplified cello and piano, and it’s the amplification, perhaps, that makes you conscious of the remarkable depth and space enclosed in Crumb’s Japanese-y structures. For the seven-part Frederico’s Little Songs, soprano and harp replace cello and piano in a world of children’s fantasy. From the same year, An Idyll for the Misbegotten is altogether more serious. Aitken is supported by dramatic percussion, again drawing on a Japanese influence. In his earlier work,


Review By David Patrick Stearns,The Philadelphia Inquirer,December 2006

In decades past, Philadelphia produced the toughest, noisiest modernists on the horizon (the apex being Ralph Shapey). Though a probing sensibility remains very much alive, these current locally born or based composers don't try to portray the aural chaos of the outside world by matching it but by reflecting and often retreating from it.

The George Crumb disc favors works written for flutist Robert Aitken, who is sometimes asked, with entrancing effect, to murmur poetry while playing. In these excellent, sometimes explosive performances, Crumb's musical world has lost none of its allure or singularity.


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