GEORGE CRUMB

Stéphanos Thomopoulos, piano

Makrokosmos Volumes I et II

The Makrokosmos (1972-1973) of American composer George Crumb (b. 1929), the title of which harks back to Béla Bartók’s Microkosmos and the spirit to Claude Debussy’s 24 Préludes, belongs to the lineage of American piano music by composers such as Charles Ives, Henry Powell and John Cage. Consisting of twenty-four fantasy pieces based on the signs of the zodiac, the two volumes of the cycle offer a surprising experience of the sound of the piano, due to Crumb’s use of numerous modern ways of playing (pizzicati, harmonics and glissandi on the strings, prepared strings, use of the third pedal, vocalization from the pianist, etc.). This cycle, so rich in color, is admirably performed here by Stéphanos Thomopoulos – a true experimenter at the piano, who has already distinguished himself in his recording of the piano works of Iannis Xenakis.

Volume I

Première partie : 10’33’’1. Primeval Sounds (Genesis I) / Cancer     2. Proteus / Pisces3. Pastorale (from the Kingdom of Atlantis, ca. 10,000 B.C.) / Taurus4. Crucifixus [SYMBOL] / Capricorn

Deuxième partie : 10’20’’5. The Phantom Gondolier / Scorpio6. Night-Spell I / Sagittarius7. Music of Shadows (for Aeolian Harp) / Libra8. The Magic Circle of Infinity (Moto perpetuo) [SYMBOL] / Leo

Troisième partie : 10’41’’9. The Abyss of Time / Virgo10. Spring-Fire / Aries11. Dream Images (Love-Death Music) / Gemini12. Spiral Galaxy [SYMBOL] / Aquarius

Volume II

Première partie : 9’44’’13. Morning Music (Genesis II) / Cancer14. The Mystic Chord / Sagittarius15. Rain-Death Variations / Pisces16. Twin Suns (Doppelgänger aus der Ewigkeit) [SYMBOL] / Gemini

Deuxième partie : 8’20’’17. Ghost-Nocturne: for the Druids of Stonehenge (Night-Spell II) / Virgo18. Gargoyles / Taurus19. Tora! Tora! Tora! (Cadenza Apocalittica) / Scorpio20. A Prophecy of Nostradamus [SYMBOL] / Aries

Troisième partie : 11’34’’21. Cosmic Wind / Libra22. Voices from “Corona Borealis” / Aquarius23. Litany of the Galactic Bells / Leo24. Agnus Dei [SYMBOL] / Capricorn

Durée totale : 61’11’’