George Crumb

Biography

Born: October 24, 1929; Charleston, WV  
George Crumb was one of the most distinctive compositional voices to emerge in the second half of the twentieth century. A charter member of the "New Virtuosity" movement, Crumb developed an expansive musical palette noted for its emphasis on extended instrumental and vocal techniques, its rich and sophisticated musical allusions, an evocative theatricality, and a poet's sense of sonorous detail.

Crumb was born in West Virginia in 1929
Read more into a musical family, and studied at various schools in the Midwest as well as at the Berlin Hochschule as a Fulbright Scholar. He eventually joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where he composed and taught for three decades. His highly intuitive approach to composition, with its emphasis on texture, timbre, and line, bore substantial fruit during the 1960s, including the Madrigals (1966-1969), Eleven Echoes of Autumn (1965), and, inspired by the Apollo 11 lunar landing, Night of the Four Moons (1969). Echoes of Time and the River, one of Crumb's rare orchestral works, earned the composer the Pulitzer Prize.

Crumb's style remained remarkably consistent during the subsequent decades. Black Angels (1970) used a dizzying arsenal of extended techniques to evoke a surreal soundscape of the Vietnam War. Star Child (1977) applied Crumb's acute ear for nuance to an impressive vocal/orchestral ensemble. Ancient Voices of Children (1970), with its unimaginable timbral variety and taxingly dramatic vocal lines, became a near-instant classic of the postwar period. It also demonstrated the resonance between his compositional style and the writing style of Garcia Lorca, whose poems would repeatedly serve as the inspiration for and/or words to a number of Crumb's pieces.

Crumb's works became known also for their almost choreographic visual elegance in performance -- and, in fact, numerous dance companies have composed dance pieces to be performed with his work. Crumb's poignant use of musical borrowing and stylistic allusion also add a sense of reflective history and introspection to his compositions. In some cases, this visual approach to design spills over into the very notation: some of the pieces in the two-volume keyboard collection Makrokosmos (1972-1973) appear engraved on staves that turn and twist into a variety of curious Zodiac symbols. Having eschewed process-oriented compositional techniques, his output slowed in later years as greater demands were placed on his creative faculties to find continually new sounds and inspirations -- though by the turn of the century, his historical importance was already firmly established. Read less
George Crumb: Voice of the Whale
Release Date: 06/24/2016   Label: Mug Shot Productions (Dvd)  
Catalog: 7499  
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Browse 1-25 of 80 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    George Crumb: Voice of the Whale
    Label: Mug Shot Productions (Dvd)   Catalog: 7499 Release Date: 06/24/2016  
    Composer:  George Crumb
    Performer:  Carole Morgan,  Lambert Orkis,  Barbara Haffner
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  • 2.
    Feldman: Palais de Mari - Crumb: Little Suite for Christmas / Osborne
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 68108 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Morton Feldman,  George Crumb
    Performer:  Steven Osborne
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  • 3.
    American Works for Cello and Piano
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10881 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Leonard Bernstein,  Elliott Carter,  George Crumb  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Watkins,  Huw Watkins
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  • 4.
    Masterworks of the 20th Century
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875061902 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Pierre Boulez,  Toru Takemitsu,  Igor Stravinsky,  Gunther Schuller  ... 
    Performer:  Yvonne Minton,  Yuji Takahashi,  James Pappoutsakis,  John Kirkpatrick  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Seiji Ozawa,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Danlee Mitchell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Musique Vivante,  New Philharmonia Strings,  Toronto Symphony  ... 
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  • 5.
    Insomnia / Kai Schumacher
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93334 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  John Cage,  George Crumb,  Brian Belet  ... 
    Performer:  Kai Schumacher
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  • 6.
    George Crumb Edition Vol. 17 - Voices from the Morning of the Earth
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9445 Release Date: 06/02/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Crumb
    Performer:  Randall Scarlata,  Ann Crumb,  David Colson,  Rachel Rudich  ... 
    Conductor:  James Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra 2001
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  • 7.
    East-west Encounters / Dreamtiger
    Label: Cameo Classics   Catalog: 9018 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Colin McPhee,  Douglas Young,  Olivier Messiaen,  George Crumb  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dreamtiger
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  • 8.
    Zoforbit - A Space Odyssey / Zofo Duet [2 CDs & 1 Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92178 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Urmas Sisask,  George Crumb,  David Lang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ZOFO Duet
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  • 9.
    Music Of Xenakis, Del Tredici, Stockhausen, Cage And Crumb
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 3265 Release Date: 03/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Iannis Xenakis,  David Del Tredici,  Karlheinz Stockhausen,  John Cage  ... 
    Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson,  Max Neuhaus,  Jan DeGaetani
    Conductor:  Richard Dufallo,  Richard Wernick
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Festival Chamber Ensemble,  Penn Contemporary Players
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  • 10.
    Crumb: Vox Balanae, Night Of The Four Moons, Makrokosmos Vol 2 / DeGaetani, Miller
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74933 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Crumb
    Performer:  Lewis Kaplan,  Erich Graf,  Jan DeGaetani,  Paul Tobias  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aeolian Chamber Players
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  • 11.
    Celebration of the New
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1410 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Fennimore,  Katherine Hoover,  George Crumb,  Lowell Liebermann
    Performer:  Pola Baytelman,  Jan Vinci
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  • 12.
    Images / John Milbauer
    Label: Fleur De Son   Catalog: 58006 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  George Crumb,  John Adams
    Performer:  John Milbauer
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  • 13.
    Earle Brown Contemporary Sound Series, Vol. 6
    Label: Wergo   Catalog: 6943 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  John Cage,  Christian Wolff,  George Crumb,  Isang Yun  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Zukofsky,  Gilbert Kalish
    Conductor:  Alcides Lanza
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Sound Composers-Performers Group
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  • 14.
    Crazy Jane - Lansky, Leisner, Mason, Roxbury, Nato
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9290 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Lansky,  David Leisner,  Ronald Roxbury,  Akemi Naito  ... 
    Performer:  Patrick Mason,  David Starobin,  Daniel Druckman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Crazy Jane
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  • 15.
    American Music: Reich, Barber, Crumb / Quatuor Diotima
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5272 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Steve Reich,  Samuel Barber,  George Crumb
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quatuor Diotima
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  • 16.
    Jan DeGaetani And Gilbert Kalish In Concert
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9340 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Francis Poulenc,  Kenneth Frazelle,  George Crumb  ... 
    Performer:  Jan DeGaetani,  Gilbert Kalish
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  • 17.
    Christine Schafer: My Art Of Singing
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4713 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  George Crumb,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Schäfer
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  • 18.
    George Crumb Edition, Vol. 15 - Ghosts Of Alhambra
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9335 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Crumb
    Performer:  David Starobin,  Patrick Mason,  Daniel Druckman,  Jamie van Eyck
    Conductor:  James Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra 2001
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  • 19.
    She Herself Alone - The Art Of The Toy Piano 2 / Margaret Leng Tan
    Label: Mode   Catalog: 221 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ross Bolleter,  John Cage,  George Crumb,  Toby Twining  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Leng Tan
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  • 20.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 233 Release Date: 08/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stefan Wolpe,  George Crumb
    Performer:  Harvey Sollberger,  Charles Wuorinen,  Joel Krosnick
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aeolian Chamber Players
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  • 21.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 283 Release Date: 02/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Crumb,  Charles Jones
    Performer:  Paul Zukofsky,  Gilbert Kalish
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York String Quartet
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  • 22.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 218 Release Date: 01/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Crumb,  Robert Erickson
    Performer:  Louise Toth,  Paul Parmelee,  David Burge,  Thomas MacCluskey
    Conductor:  Ralph Shapey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hartt Chamber Players
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  • 23.
    George Crumb: Bad Dog!
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9312 Release Date: 12/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Crumb
    Performer:  David Starobin,  Tony Arnold,  George Crumb
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  • 24.
    Prokofiev: Sinfonia Concertante; Tscherepnin / Wispelwey, Sinaisky
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 27909 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Tcherepnin,  Sergei Prokofiev,  George Crumb
    Performer:  Pieter Wispelwey
    Conductor:  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Kayako Matsunaga Performs Music By Xenakis, Tamaru, Et Al
    Label: Vienna Modern Masters   Catalog: 2014 Release Date: 05/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Crumb,  Michiharu Matsunaga,  Sukhi Kang,  Toshi Ichiyanagi  ... 
    Performer:  Kayako Matsunaga,  Atsuko Sato
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