Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III) : Work information

George (Henry) Crumb ( Music, Images,)
Performed by
Susan Grace (Piano), Alice Rybak (Piano), John Kinzie (Percussion), David Colson (Percussion)

This work

Work name
Music for a Summer Evening (Makrokosmos III)
Work number
1974-01-01 02:00:00

This recording

Becky and David Starobin
Michael B. Grace
Recording date
2000-08-01 01:00:00

Track listing

  • Nocturnal Sounds (The Awakening): Magical, suspenseful 5:45 min
  • Wanderer Fantasy: Calling, echoing 4:52 min
  • The Advent: Very slow; majestic, like a larger rhythm of nature; \"Hymn for the nativity of the Star-Child\" 7:14 min
  • Myth: Adagio isoritmico; lonely, bleak 5:18 min
  • Music of the Starry Night: Fantasic, oracular; \"Song of Reconciliation\", joyous, ecstatic, with a sense of cosmic time 11:56 min

The Composers

George (Henry) Crumb

Born in Charleston, West Virginia, George Crumb attended the universities of Illinois and Michigan before teaching at Colorado and Pennsylvania, where he remained until retiring in 1995.  His orchestral work Echoes of Time and the River (1967) won him the Pulitzer prize and he has written many choral pieces inspired by the writings of Federico Garcia Lorca.

Crumb's use of extended performance techniques leads to his music being at once sonorous and disjointed.  He cites Béla Bartók as a major influence, and shares with him an uncomfortable sense of the macabre.  His Makrokosmos piano collections can be seen as picking up Bartók's thread, and as with Crumb's string quartet Black Angels he specifies that the acoustic instruments be amplified.  The esoteric titles and themes of Crumb's work (a movement of Black Angels is entitled 'Night of the Electric Insects') are echoed in esoteric compositional techniques.  Quotation, parody and dreamlike mood invite comparisons with Luciano Berio - both composers are hugely devoted to the work of Gustav Mahler