Songs of America, With Beauty and Gusto

By Song of America

In his series of six “American Songbooks,” which surround skeletons of melodies from hymns, folk songs and spirituals with shimmering, hallucinatory percussion effects, the great composer George Crumb finds a way out of this limiting paradigm [of the folk song], conjuring the horrors — slavery, religious rigidity, war — that resulted in much of the beauty of American music without ignoring the reality of that beauty.

Next & Previous Articles