This exciting disc presents the first recordings of two new George Crumb song cycles. With The Ghosts of Alhambra, George Crumb returns once again to his favorite poet, Federico García Lorca. The texts for The Ghosts of Alhambra come from Poema del cante jondo, much of which Lorca wrote in reaction to the commercialized flamenco he experienced in contemporary Andalusia.
Crumb's settings are alternately dark, dramatic and childlike in their directness and simplicity. The spectacular tapestry that is Crumb's Voices from a Forgotten World presents a huge variety of American song from diverse sources. Native American songs (Navajo and Ojibwa) bump up against 17th century ballads and folk songs from various corners of the nation. The huge percussion orchestra provides one of Crumb's most colourful scores in a 46 minute composition that is shattering in its cumulative emotional impact.
“[folksongs] are overlaid with Crumb's traditional 'night music' gestures - amplified piano strings plucked and beaten, bowed cymbals and gongs, chanting, whistling, and whispering. All this actually makes for an easy-listening experience, and the over-the-top setting of Forster's 'Beautiful Dreamer', bordering on self-parody, adds welcome levity. Mason and Jamie van Eyck are committed advocates.”
“the performers...absolutely have the measure of this ambiguous world that Crumb has created, and it sound as though they love it. Recordings are splendid”
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