Search - Sanford Sylvan, George Crumb, Aleck Karis :: Crumb: Songs, Drones And Refrains Of Death

Crumb: Songs, Drones And Refrains Of Death
Sanford Sylvan, George Crumb, Aleck Karis
Crumb: Songs, Drones And Refrains Of Death
Genres: Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1


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CD Reviews

For Crumb enthusiasts
Michael Suh | 11/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The three works on this disc are somewhat "typical" Crumb. "Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death" is not Crumb's greatest work, even if it has his signature gestures -- a combination of speaking and singing during songs, shouting from the percussion players, among other techniques. It's a little contrived and more than a little dated (it's unmistakably 1960s avant-garde), but it's not a bad work. The recording's vocal performance by both the ensemble and the soloist sounds very muddled, which is unfortunate.

The Suite for Christmas has never been my favorite work. Crumb's other works for piano, such as the Makrokosmos books, are so much better it makes this work really look kind of anomalously amateur, even though I'm sure it's extremely hard to play. Orkis makes the most of this work, it's as good as I've ever heard it.

Apparition is by far the best work on this disc. It focuses on death just like the Songs and Drones, but Apparition also has some of the most delicate music found in any of Crumb's works. And the singing is sharp and clear, even with the transparent textures of the music. It uses Walt Whitman's Death Carol as its text and really captures the mysticism, light, and darkness that surrounds death that Whitman conveys in his poem.

Overall, it's a good disc. It's definitely a great disc for people who like Crumb, but I know I wouldn't have explored much more of his music if this were my introduction."