Quotation and Framing: Re-contextualization and Intertextuality as Newness in George Crumb's Black Angels

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

The purpose of this article is to discuss Crumb’s musical and intermedial intertextuality mainly through his Black Angels: Thirteen Images from the Dark Land for Electric String Quartet (1970), as an individually original but also representative compositional practice for the twentieth century. As in other compositions, George Crumb has integrated musical quotations and various musical styles in Black Angels, including a web of references which extend into other media, in such a way that they form an indispensable part of the basic construction of the work: these components form part of its newness. In Black Angels the composer – among other well-known pieces of music – quotes the medieval dies irae sequence and the second movement of Schubert’s string quartet in D minor (D. 810). The musical and intermedial references are framed with striking modernistic sounds exploring instrumental possibilities far beyond the traditional, thus creating a framework of extreme contrasts. The paper will contextualize, analyze and interpret Black Angels – which the composer explicitly linked to the Vietnam War – in a broad context of music, intermediality, religious symbolism, and cultural memory, pointing to the cultural meaning of this technique of re-contextualization as a break with, as well as a continuation of, modernity.
TidsskriftContemporary Music Review
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)309-21
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2010

ID: 32242835