Today's Classical Music Video

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Conversation with Composer George Crumb

George Crumb is one of those rare composers who manages to be both experimental and accessible. His compositions invariably break new ground in matters of instrumentation and unusual combinations of instruments and voices, and yet they are frequently profoundly expressive and touch the heart as well as the mind.

Crumb was born in Charleston, West Virginia in 1929 and at the age of 82 continues to compose.

One of his earliest successes was a song cycle based on poems by Lorca called Ancient Voices of Children. It remains an astonishingly imaginative piece combining soprano and boy soprano with a wide variety of percussion instruments and mandolin, harp and toy piano. Another remarkable work from the same period (1970) is Black Angels for electric string quartet. For more on Crumb visit his web site at

This video was prepared for West Virginia public television in 2007.

Paul E. Robinson 

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