Orchestra 2001 Presents
George Crumb – The River of Life
FRIDAY, September 20th, 2019
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
121 N. Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19106

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FREE and open to the public
"Sunburst" score for #5, Time is a Drifting River, by composer George Crumb

George Crumb's The River of Life (2003)

(American Songbook I – A Cycle of Hymns, Spirituals, and Revival Tunes)

1. Shall We Gather at the River?
2. Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown?
3. Amazing Grace!
4. Give Me That Old Time Religion
5. Time is a Drifting River: A Psalm for Daybreak and Morning (instrumental)
6. Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?
7. One More River to Cross (Noah’s Ark: A Humoresque)
8. Nearer, My God to Thee
9. Deep River

The seven volumes of George Crumb’s American Songbooks are the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer’s explorations of America’s folk song heritage that include stunning transformations of African-American spirituals, Appalachian ballads, Native American chants, New England hymns, Southern revival songs, Western cowboy tunes, and in one volume, more popular folk music by Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger.

Each volume was written for, dedicated to, premiered and recorded first by Orchestra 2001 as it emerged from Mr. Crumb’s suburban Philadelphia studio over a period of a decade. There are few examples in modern classical music in which a composer of such stature has written so much music for a specific ensemble. We believe this cycle to be one of the most unique and beautiful celebrations of America's folk heritage any artist has ever conceived.  

Volume I, The River of Life  (2003) – Songs of Joy, and Sorrow – A Cycle of Hymns, Spirituals and Revival Tunes for Voice, Percussion Quartet, and Amplified Piano, contains nine of Crumb’s sometimes haunting, sometimes hilarious, always magical settings of American folk songs surrounded by the myriad colors of his astonishing music.

The River of Life is scored for more than 130 different percussion instruments including bosun’s (boatswain) whistle, log drums, Appalachian musical saw, Chinese cymbals and temple gongs, Japanese temple bells and kabuki blocks, Tibetan prayer stones, Indian ankle bells, Thai wooden buffalo bells, Cambodian anklung, frog voice guïro, Moroccan bendir, Swiss almglocken (large cowbells), water-tuned crystal goblets, toy piano, and a number of instruments played underwater.

Audience members of all ages are invited on stage after the performance for an informal Percussion Petting Zoo: come see the instruments up close!

Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo-soprano

Mark Loria, conductor

Marcantonio Barone, piano

William Kerrigan, percussion

Malavika Godbole, percussion

Phillip O’Banion, percussion

Brenda Weckerly, percussion

Lead support for The River of Life is provided by the William Penn Foundation.  

Chrystal E. Williams, soloist for Orchestra 2001's September 20, 2019 concert, performed the role of Rebecca in Opera Philadelphia's June 2015 production of Yardbird

We'd like to share this very special offer from our friends at Opera Philadelphia:

Special Offer: $50 tickets to the world premiere of Denis & Katya*

Part of Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O19

Discount applies to all evening performances September 18-23 | The Suzanne Roberts Theatre

This visceral production from composer Philip Venables  and director Ted Huffman − the duo behind the award-winning opera 4.48 Psychosis − uses verbatim text to examine the vast public response to the events surrounding the tragedy of Russian runaways Denis Muravyov and Katya Vlasova, exploring how stories are shaped and shared in our age of trolls, conspiracy theories, fake news, and 24/7 digital connection.

Buy Now

or call 215.732.8400 and mention promo code ORCHESTRA.

*Not valid on previously purchased tickets; other restrictions may apply.

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Copyright © 2019 Orchestra 2001, Inc., All rights reserved.

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