(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
Available at Amazon.com
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!