Crumb to celebrate 80th with Lorca-inspired song cycle

Posted on: July 24, 2009

In Friday’s (7/24) Boston Globe , David Weininger writes that the titles and content of composer George Crumb’s works sometimes cast him as mysterious and otherworldly. “But the image of Crumb as a messenger from alien worlds is complicated by the fact that he is a warm and surprisingly plainspoken man. … Next week the Bowdoin International Music Festival, where Crumb has been composer-in-residence several times, is paying homage to the composer in advance of his 80th birthday. His singer-actor daughter, Ann, will premiere a new cycle of songs on poems of Federico García Lorca, a poet who has fascinated Crumb since his first important works of the 1960s. ‘So I’m closing the circle again,’ he says of returning to Lorca, ‘but I hope I can break it open later if I have some more ideas and find another way to experiment.’ Crumb began to find his way as a composer by experimenting with sound. … In one song from the Lorca cycle ‘Ancient Voices of Children,’ written in 1970, a pianist drags a chisel over the strings of the piano to produce an eerie, flutelike tone.”

Posted July 24, 2009