MAKROKOSMOS GEORGE CRUMB PDF

Makrokosmos is a series of four volumes of pieces for piano by American composer George Crumb. The first volume of the set was composed in , while the last was completed in early ; the first performance of all four volumes in sequence was given by Yvar Mikhashoff , Aki Takahashi , Stephen Manes , Freida Manes , Jan Williams and Lynn Harbold , in Buffalo, New York , on 12 June Makrokosmos, Volume I was composed in for pianist and friend David Burge who previously commissioned and premiered Crumb's Five Pieces for Piano The collection is subtitled Twelve Fantasy-Pieces after the Zodiac and is scored for amplified piano. Its contents are as follows:. The last piece of each part is notated in such a way that the score forms an image: a cross piece 4 , a circle piece 8 , and a spiral piece

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Indeed, very few post piano compositions continue to be so widely performed and recorded, and from the present vantage point, it seems increasingly certain that these pieces have earned a secure place in the repertoire. Despite the many innovative features of this composition, the general conception of the two volumes of Makrokosmos belongs to the long and venerable tradition of composing pieces that demonstrate the technical and musical resources of an instrument.

Just as pianists come to appreciate the intricate architecture of Makrokosmos in the process of rehearsal and performance, the design of each piece and of the whole crystallizes for listeners after repeated hearings.

At one stage in the genesis of Makrokosmos , Crumb had planned three volumes, each with nine pieces plus an Epilogue. The twelve pieces of each volume are grouped into three parts of four pieces, and each part is to be played without interruption.

Reflecting his preoccupation with time and space — in a musical as well as general sense — Crumb assigns to each movement a sign of the Zodiac. With this characteristically rich array of extramusical annotations, George Crumb suggests the multifarious influences on the composition. Virtually every imaginable pianistic tone color is exploited in the work.

The palette of traditional pianistic colors — those produced by playing on the keyboard as usual — is enriched by traversing the entire pitch range of the instrument, using special pedal effects, and exploiting an extraordinarily wide dynamic range amplification makes possible not only tremendously loud sounds, but also helps us to hear extremely soft ones.

The blurry washes of sound throughout result from strategic use of the damper and sostenuto pedals, and all three pedals are used to create myriad gradations of color. The sostenuto pedal is used far more extensively than in previous piano music. The pianist uses her fingertips and fingernails to pluck and strike the strings at various locations, to play glissandi across groups of strings, and to slide or scrape along the length of the string.

She creates translucent harmonics by lightly touching nodal points on the strings. The fingertips also serve to dampen vibrating strings, sometimes at the same time that the pianist strikes the notes on the keyboard, resulting in muted drum-like sounds. In other passages, the pianist produces unpitched percussive effects by knocking on the metal crossbeams and soundboard of the instrument. Unlike Cage, however, Crumb has the pianist place and remove these objects during performance, not beforehand.

Was it the arioso passages of the op. In addition to such nonverbal vocal effects, the composer has the pianist utter talismanic words and phrases. In addition to the usual indications for tempo, dynamics, and articulation, he includes powerfully suggestive verbal phrases that point to the intended sonic and expressive effects.

Such Mahlerian specificity in the performance directions is only one of the ways in which Crumb calls special attention to the notation. As is well known, many of his works call for theatrical actions from the players.

That is why it is so important to experience Crumb's music live. In repeated encounters, listeners will surely discover for themselves the endless riches of this masterful composition.

One of the most celebrated performers of John Cage's music, Ms. As the world's first professional toy pianist, Ms. Tan has transformed a toy into a legitimate instrument. Award-winning filmmaker Evans Chan has captured the many facets of Ms. Tan's talent in his Sorceress of the New Piano: The Artistry of Margaret Leng Tan , a 90 minute documentary feature which has been screened at several international film festivals.

He has written chamber and electronic works, music for theatre and dance, and is currently working on a chamber opera, Die Bestmannoper , which has been presented, in part, by the Kammeroper Schloss Rheinsberg. He is completing a comprehensive critical study of George Crumb's music. Search for:.

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GEORGE CRUMB: Makrokosmos I-III

George Crumb wrote Makrokosmos in and These pieces constitute a massive and detailed exploration of the sounding possibilities of the piano. This may seem a mighty task, but solely the honest intention of achieving something like that is bound to reach far, and far he has reached. The apparent ease of the flow of events in Makrokosmos may persuade one of an improvisational approach, but this is belied by the comprehensive sketches, with planning of the over-arching intent as well as the minute details. Crumb has designed the last of the four parts of the three divisions of the two sections as a symbol, thus in Volume 1 presenting piece number 4 as a cross, number 8 as circle and number 12 as a spiral. As can be viewed above, Crumb also had an affinity for fantasy-evoking titles! Some of these do remind me not so little of Terry Riley 's habit of giving his pieces beautiful and thought-provoking titles, like on his album Harp of New Albion piano in just intonation and Salome Dances for Peace String Quartet Crumb has connected this musical venture with the star signs of the Zodiac.

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Indeed, very few post piano compositions continue to be so widely performed and recorded, and from the present vantage point, it seems increasingly certain that these pieces have earned a secure place in the repertoire. Despite the many innovative features of this composition, the general conception of the two volumes of Makrokosmos belongs to the long and venerable tradition of composing pieces that demonstrate the technical and musical resources of an instrument. Just as pianists come to appreciate the intricate architecture of Makrokosmos in the process of rehearsal and performance, the design of each piece and of the whole crystallizes for listeners after repeated hearings. At one stage in the genesis of Makrokosmos , Crumb had planned three volumes, each with nine pieces plus an Epilogue. The twelve pieces of each volume are grouped into three parts of four pieces, and each part is to be played without interruption. Reflecting his preoccupation with time and space — in a musical as well as general sense — Crumb assigns to each movement a sign of the Zodiac. With this characteristically rich array of extramusical annotations, George Crumb suggests the multifarious influences on the composition.

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