George Crumb’s “Black Angels”: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land

Things were turned upside down. There were terrifying things in the air… they found their way into Black Angels. – George Crumb, 1990 Black Angels, a work for “electric string quartet” by American composer George Crumb (b. 1929), pulls us into a terrifying, nightmarish soundscape. Completed in March, 1970, the piece has been associated with the apocalyptic zeitgeist of the Vietnam era. Yet the strange, disturbing voices which haunt this music seem to transcend any one …

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