George Crumb: Sun and Shadow / Voices from the Heartland

review crumb x1 cong

This is the 16th volume of record label Bridge’s George Crumb series, and the music is quite late. It’s an intriguing album and, because part one (Sun and Shadow) is based on the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca it has some similarities with Siobhan Lamb (see above) in that the singers step out of the musical and into the spoken word, with, in this case, a bit of buzzing, too.

The work is described as a cycle of hymns, spirituals, folk songs and Native American chants and the players are an amplified piano and four percussionists. This lack of instruments gives the music a sparse sound, through which Crumb sometimes filters a recognisably “American” sound of classical music.

Part two is the Native American section so expect more percussion. It’s a very honest and open album and never less than intriguing. It might be a little off the wall for some but it’s interesting.

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