Saturday, November 13, 2010

Move Over Michael Feinstein, George Crumb's Working on the American Songbook

There's an article in the Los Angeles Times this weekend about George Crumb's seven-part American Songbook project. There will be performances this season in LA, in Washington, DC and New York City, and a version of Song Book IV staged by Peter Sellars and sung by Dawn Upshaw at the Ojai Festival.

Delia Casadei describes the folk songs Crumb chose to adapt:
They are, in other words, more than references to an archaic lost world: Some of the bloodiest episodes of the country's history are etched into their very sinews. They are the spirituals of African slaves, the lullabies of American Indians, the congregational singing of the English settlers and songs of the Civil War. And they have been on the lips of the entire country since time immemorial. 
 Name that tune: there's a sample on the Bridge Records website. And read Casadei's article.