Music For A Summer Evening

Piano (and Piano-Plus) Music for the Dog Days of Summer

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Nothing accompanies a sweated-through T-shirt and an oppressively humid summer evening like George Crumb, right? Get your dog day's musical antidote all week on Hammered! with summertime music not written by George Gershwin.

Music For A Summer Evening (Makrokosmos Book III), Crumb's 1974 masterwork for two amplified pianos and two percussion, is a staple of the piano / percussion repertoire and remains one of Crumb's most magical, vivid works.

The 30-minute work piggybacks on the instrumentation of the Sonata for two pianos and percussion by Bela Bartok, whose Out Of Doors suite we also hear, but extravagantly expands on its sound world. In the work's fifth movement, "Music of the Starry Night", for example, the piano strings are covered with sheets of paper and produce a surrealistic distortion when the keys are struck. Elsewhere in the piece, keys are muted, tam-tams are bowed and strings are strummed, all combining in one of the twentieth century's most otherworldly sonic creations.

The Crumb carries the bulk of Monday's programatic weight but there's much else to hear this week. Tune in for a smattering of music by Olivier Messiaen, replete with desert landscapes and chatty summer birds; solo piano works by, among others, Peteris Vasks (Seasons, introduced by the composer) and Arlene Sierra; and on Wednesday experience the craggy John Luther Adams superwork, Among Red Mountains

What's your summertime musical antidote?

Hosted by:

Conor Hanick

Comments [3] from 77450


Jul. 14 2013 04:05 PM

Yes, nice catch LJE. The fourth movement is "Myth", which has its own set of extra-musical considerations ...

Jun. 28 2013 11:38 AM
LJE from Los Angeles

Correction. The fifth movement is the movement where paper is placed on the piano strings

Jun. 27 2013 10:33 PM

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