Episode #2

Listen: George Crumb and Large Ensembles at New Music New Haven

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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Composer George Crumb amidst instruments Composer George Crumb (Courtesy of the Composer)

George Crumb was the featured composer of New Music New Haven's second 2012-2013 season concert. In addition, several works by Yale graduate student composers Benjamin Wallace, Bálint Karosi and Michael Gilbertson were performed by large chamber ensembles.

Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) is just as much a piece for amplified flute, cello and piano as it is a piece for atmosphere. During the performance, musicians wear black half-masks, and the lighting of the stage turns a dark blue, meant to reflect the song of the humpback whale. Crumb heard a tape recording of the sound before writing the piece in 1971. His American Songbook series explores Appalachian folk songs and lore and is written for amplified piano and percussion quartet.

Listen to the individual pieces below.

George Crumb - Vox Balaenae

George Crumb – American Songbook III

Benjamin Wallace - Tick

Bálint Karosi – Four Temperments: Phlegmatic

Michael Gilbertson - Who Remembers Day

Q2 Music and the Yale School of Music are partnering to bring you on-demand streaming audio of the university's exciting New Music New Haven concert series, which showcases student-composers alongside the School's deep bench of faculty composers.

Recorded by Eugene Kimball for New Music New Haven.

Comments [3]

J. Michael Bergstrom from Left Coast

Thanks for the attention to Vox Balaenae - but it appears that my unfamiliarity with Crumb's work allowed me to not recognize that the American Songbook III file was in fact Vox Balaenae, and that it is American Songbook III that I've yet to hear (from New Music New Haven). I looked up a performance on you tube to clarify the situation, as well as reviewing instrumentation citations on Crumb's website.

And thanks very much for re-airing the Arvo Pärt marathon as also the New Julliard Ensemble performance. Such extraordinary music!

Sep. 12 2015 10:08 AM

@J. Michael Bergstrom

George Crumb's "Vox Balaenae" should be working now. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thanks for listening.

Sep. 08 2015 11:41 AM
J. Michael Bergstrom from Left Coast

While I enjoyed the rest of the pieces from this program, I've been unable to get the first (George Crumb - Vox Balaenae) to play. Is this no longer available?

Sep. 05 2015 02:17 PM

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