The innovative and influential music of George Crumb has had remarkable staying power since the 1960s, and his productivity in the first decade of the 21st century shows his undiminished creativity. Volume 16 of Bridge's Complete Crumb Edition presents two song cycles in premiere recordings, featuring the composer's daughter, soprano Ann Crumb, with baritone Patrick Mason, pianist Marcantonio Barone, and Orchestra 2001, conducted by James Freeman. Sun and Shadow, from the Spanish Songbook II (2009), is a setting of five poems by Crumb's favorite poet, Federico García Lorca, and the piece's mysterious sonorities and extended vocal and piano techniques are quite reminiscent of Crumb's groundbreaking Ancient Voices of Children. Voices from the Heartland, from the American Songbook VII (2010), is an ambitious work for two voices and orchestra, subtitled "a cycle of hymns, spirituals, folk songs, and American Indian chants," though these are filtered, as always, through Crumb's distinctive mystical style. The care and concentration of the musicians are evident in these precisely executed performances, and Bridge's recordings capture them with great clarity, depth, and presence.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Sun and Shadow|
|Voices from the Heartland|