Month: November 2016

George Crumb: Music Like None Other



We never studied the music of the American composer George Crumb in music school, but it was his music that struck me as being truly unique when I was a young composer. It was different in so many ways from the music that I had been analyzing in theory class. He had developed a sound world that was so evocative, spiritual, haunting, and personal. It touched me. He explored unusual timbres, placed unusual instruments into the ensembles, devised new extended vocal techniques for singers. He made me realize that contemporary music could be really beautiful as well as being intellectually satisfying.

When I first opened the scores, they looked stunningly unusual. He wrote all his scores in the most fastidious hand. Parts of his compositions are in the shapes of spirals, circles and crosses. Many pieces lacked bar lines, which was revolutionary at that time. When I first saw that technique, I couldn’t figure out how the musicians would play the music!

One of the great benefits of being an Esprit Orchestra audience member is that you get to hear music you might never have the opportunity to hear live. This includes me.

I have never heard Crumb’s A Haunted Landscape in concert, but on Sunday, November 20 Alex and Esprit will offer me that very rare opportunity.

Hear it first with Esprit Orchestra on Sunday, November 20 – yet another Canadian premiere!

— Alexina Louie O.C.


Sunday, November 20th

Esprit Orchestra

Alex Pauk, Music Director

Koerner Hall

273 Bloor St W.


Concert 8:00

Pre-concert chat 7:15

For more information about Esprit’s November 20th concert, and where to buy tickets, click here.