This CD combines two classic Crumb compositions of the 1970s expertly performed by members of The Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic under the direction of conductor Juan Pablo Izquierdo.
Black Angels for string quartet was written as a response to the Vietnam War. The work draws from an arsenal of sounds including shouting, chanting, whistling, whispering, gongs, maracas, and crystal glasses. The score bears two inscriptions: in tempore belli (in time of war) and "Finished on Friday the Thirteenth, March, 1970". In its arrangement here by Juan Pablo Izquierdo - with the approval of Crumb - for string quartet with string orchestra, the soundscape of Black Angels becomes all the more powerful and terrifying. The string quartet soloists are the superb Cuarteto Latinoamericano.
Music for a Summer Evening is scored for the classic Bartok combination of two pianos and 2 percussionists, here performing on a vast array of instruments. The pianists are also required to use extended techniques and preparations, which together with the percussion, create a unique sound world. In an effort to achieve greater clarity and precision, Juan Pablo Izquierdo chose not only to conduct Music for a Summer Evening, but also to divide the percussion parts amongst four players. The superb recording conveys all the details, subtlety, power and magical atmosphere of these works.