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Grammy Nominee: Best Small Ensemble Performance – Ancient Voices of Children
Volume Nine of Bridge’s Grammy Award-winning George Crumb Edition features new recordings of two of Crumb’s Lorca-inspired classics, as well as the premiere recording of the composer’s latest piano piece. Ancient Voices of Children is the composition that brought George Crumb his greatest fame in the 1970s. Scored for soprano, boy soprano and a wild assortment of instruments including mandolin, musical saw, and toy piano, Ancient Voices is a dramatic masterpiece that influenced an entire generation of composers with its use of quotation, extremes of color and dynamics, and one of the most stunningly virtuosic vocal parts in the twentieth century repertoire. As sung in this composer-supervised recording, the young soprano, Tony Arnold, breathes new life and beauty into this cycle which has been virtually owned by the work’s dedicatee, the legendary Jan DeGaetani.
Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik is George Crumb’s latest work for solo piano- a twenty minute take on Thelonious Monk’s famous tune ‘Round Midnight. Though the work opens and closes with literal statements of Monk’s tune, from the outset, we know that the music is the inimitable work of George Crumb, with its strummed strings, percussive rumblings inside the piano, and typically Crumbian harmony. Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik includes a touching ‘blues’ movement, and a theatrical ‘counting off’ (in Italian) of the hours until Midnight. The work’s dedicatee, the Italian piano virtuoso Emanuele Arciuli, is the performer in this premiere recording.
George Crumb’s four books of Madrigals comprise the longest work in his famed Lorca cycle. This new recording again features Tony Arnold in a spectacular realization of these seminal works by Crumb. From a field of nearly one hundred singers and instrumentalists at Holland’s 2002 Gaudeamus International Interpreters Competition, the American soprano Tony Arnold triumphed, becoming the first singer ever to win the competition’s First Prize. Ms. Arnold has recently completed a 10 city tour with George Crumb and the George Crumb Ensemble. The soprano’s sensational performances of Mr. Crumb’s works has inspired Crumb to compose a new work for Ms. Arnold, which will be featured on an upcoming volume in this series.