I am glad to see that Crumb's music still stands out. I've always wanted to do "Eleven Echoes of Autumn".
George Crumb is always good for a theatrical flourish or two. In his Eleven Echoes of Autumn from 1965, the violinist plays and whistles. The flutist plays and whispers simultaneously. At one point during the piece, clarinetist and flutist walk over to the open lid of a grand piano, look down into the body of the instrument as if it were a cradle or a grave, and play into the echoing abyss.
Even if you didn't like what you heard at Sunday afternoon's concert of Counter)induction - no, not a typo, but a contemporary music group - you could at least be engaged visually. In this way (and so many others) Crumb, 80, was prescient. I don't think any previous generation listened with its eyes the way audiences today do.
But the Crumb work has substance and a protean energy lacking in several other pieces on Counter)induction's program, which took up the last slot in the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society's season. This was an insider's concert, drawing an impressive number of composers to the American Philosophical Society's Franklin Hall.