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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Music > Avant Garde > Industry > George Crumb: Voice Of The Whale (1976/MVD Visual DVD)

George Crumb: Voice Of The Whale (1976/MVD Visual DVD)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: D Film: B

Interestingly photographed and beautiful to listen to, the 1976 Robert Mugge (to whom is known for his talents in making music documentaries) film George Crumb: Voice Of The Whale (1976) is equal parts interview and music that helps craft the story of legendary composer George Crumb.

From his humble beginnings in West Virginia, to his discovery of his unique musical voice and odd collection of instruments, the documentary succeeds in telling a touching portrayal of the artist while celebrating the music that he creates as well. Included is a performance by the Penn Contemporary Players of Crumb's 1971 piece ''Vox Balaenae for Three Masked Players'' and conversations with composer Richard Wernick, whose affection for Crumb's music is apparent.

Presented in standard definition with a 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio and a lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track, the film looks and sounds fine on DVD but could benefit to high definition like all of Mugge's filmed works. Many segments of the film are colored green and blue creatively to correlate the marriage between color and music that is used effectively by the filmmakers.

No extras., just chapters dividing the film up between Art and Artist.

Though short in running time (just under an hour), this masterfully made documentary on the avant-garde composer is great for fans of his work or music documentary fans. For more of Crumb's work, try this link...


- James Lockhart



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