(120 min/ music DVD/ USA) released by Mode Records in the US (http://www.mode.com/catalog/142crumb.html) and distributed internationally by Harmonia Mundi.

Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times praised Makrokosmos I & II (1972-73) by George Crumb, Musical America's 2003 Composer of the Year, as “complex works that broke new ground in the exploration of piano sonorities…When some plucked string effect came off just right, Ms. Tan would thrust her hands into the air…like a sorceress pleased with some new spice she had added to a gurgling brew…it was impossible not to respond to …this visionary music.” Included as a bonus in this DVD, filmed and edited by Evans Chan, is a 45-min documentary “George Crumb in Conversation.”

"This work is immensely haunting, serious and intense, yet filled with suspense and space. Margaret appears totally committed, making each note count…Mr. Chan has done a splendid job of capturing this mysterious music just right, concentrating on Margaret's hands, face and body only moving or changing angles that show the action as it happens, just adding a minimum of effects to enhance those moments that could use a sprinkle of visual spice…Each of the 24 pieces…tells a little story, evoking a different spirit and exploring a variety of sounds that only a master composer and performer could coax from an acoustic (amplified) piano. Besides this wonderful work, this DVD also features a fascinating 45-minute interview with George Crumb, Margaret Leng Tan and publisher, Don Gillespie. What more could we ask for?"

-- Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter


"…there are no more excuses to live in the digital dark ages…experiencing Makrokosmos on this medium is very different from the concert-going experience. While the DVD vividly captures the sonic nuances of the concert hall, our eyes get a special play-by-play perspective. Filmmaker Evans Chan gives us shots of the gadgets Margaret Leng Tan uses on the piano strings, with close-ups of her hands, peeks over her shoulder, and bird's eye views inside the piano. We don't even need to crane our neck, just sit back on the couch..."

-- NewMusicBox



Available at Amazon.com


Customer Review

A Memorable and Exquisite Experience, December 19, 2004

Emmanuel d'Amonville (Cape Cod - USA):

This gem offers a delightful match of talents: George Crumb's seminal composition for amplified piano, Margaret Leng Tan's spellbinding performance, and Evans Chan's poetic filmmaking. The intimate relationship of Margaret Leng Tan with the very soul of her piano conjures up the image of a High Priestess offering up the music at the altar, while the use of her expressive movements, on and off the keyboard, creates a choreographed ballet. Evans Chan animates each participant/element in the musical drama: composer, performer, piano with its entrails, and Crumb's graphic score and literary citations, to create a dynamic, and superbly integrated, presentation of this original and powerful musical composition. This is contemporary music at its captivating best. The DVD showcases an outstanding performance of George Crumb's visionary masterwork woven into an elegant and seamless visual fabric. There is also a documentary of an interview with Crumb, included as a bonus. Enjoy!