The great American composer, George Crumb's most recent compositions have been two large piano compositions, "Metamorphoses, Books 1 and 2", completed in 2019. Volume 19 of Bridge's Complete Crumb Edition, a series of recordings supervised by the composer himself, is made up entirely of Metamorphoses Book 1, performed by Crumb specialist, Marcantonio Barone. The work consists of ten movements, each based on a famous painting by artists including Paul Klee, Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall, James Whistler, Jasper Johns, Paul Gauguin, Salvador Dali, and Vasily Kandinsky. At 90, George Crumb continues to produce works of incredible detail and passion. Critic David Hurwitz wrote that "Bridge’s decision to embark on a completeRead more edition of George Crumb’s music remains one of the most significant recording projects currently in progress, as well as one of the most artistically successful."
Klee, Van Gogh, Chagall, Whistler, Gauguin and Kandinsky all give inspiration for a stylistically inclusive, vigorously inventive sequence: just 37½ minutes of music, but a disc of real substance.
– Sunday Times (UK)
The pianist Marcantonio Barone places Crumb’s evocative gestures with reverent care and gives them space to make their full effect, and he’s as responsive to the music’s savage or folk-like moments as he is to its quiet poetry. The recorded sound is ideally close so the piano’s resonances sound huge and all-enveloping, as they should. Those who already know Crumb’s music well might be a tad disappointed that this piece breaks no new ground creatively. But for those who don’t it offers a wonderfully concentrated, vivid introduction to his imaginative world.