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CRUMB, GEORGE: Metamorphoses (Book 1)
George Crumb is one of the great unsung composers of the 20th and 21st centuries (most of the pieces here were written between 2015 – 2017) - he’s now 90, and still going strong. Above all he’s a master of timbre and texture - and of the optimum deployment of dynamics and chromatics. These sonic sketches plumb the range of the grand piano in a quiet, transparent and unusual way. Beautifully performed - by Margaret Leng Tan, for whom they were written -these pieces are all transpositions into patterns and sounds of paintings by Klee, Van Gogh, Chagall, Whistler, Johns, Gaugan, Dali, and Kandinsky, augmented here and there by Tan’s signature toy pianos, some vocal sounds and various small percussion instruments. Also included is the exquisite earlier 5 Pieces for piano from 1962. With a useful booklet of notes by Leng Tan and Crumb himself – as well as reproductions of the paintings featured. Highly recommended, especially if you are not already familiar with Crumb’s unique musical vocabulary.