Composed in 1972, George Crumb's "Makrokosmos Volume I" is a monumental masterwork of 20th-Century piano literature. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its composition, I have commissioned twelve composers to each write a response to one movement of Crumb's original epic piece, to create a brand new celestial cycle.
Coming March 19, 2023 at 5:30pm PST - don't miss it!
"Nic Gerpe gives it a superbly played reading that checks all of the boxes of Crumb’s multi-faceted 20th century classic... the recording provides an impressive cross-section of some of today’s finest composers of new music. Nic Gerpe shows enormous pianistic versatility by beautifully playing all twelve works."
"Taken on its own merits, then, this performance of Makrokosmos Book I is a superb one. Just listening to it, you feel as if you’re right there in the room with Gerpe as he plays, shouts, and occasionally whistles the music... This is, on balance, an extraordinary album... Would that we had more albums like this in the classical world; it would be a much more interesting place to visit."
"Gerpe’s performance is often stunning and entirely engrossing throughout here. The particular motivic ideas are brought out well which helps the listener make the broader connections while also being overwhelmed by the sheer variety and intensity of the sounds. It makes for an engrossing and amazing audio experience."
"I have reviewed a LOT of piano music over the past 25 or so years, but once in awhile an album comes along that really teaches me a thing or two (or three) about a different way of playing the piano. Nic Gerpe's The Makrokosmos 50 Project is one of those albums... George Crumb is considered to be a giant in modern classical music, so if his music is familiar to you, you might not need the visuals of the video to fully appreciate Nic Gerpe's project, but both the sound and high-resolution video are amazing. The sound quality of the album is also spectacular and provides a different experience from watching the music unfold. It's an amazing project and I very highly recommend both parts of it."
"The performance of Crumb's Makrokosmos I would be enough reason to collect the music, because it equals or exceeds every other performance I have of the piece. What an interesting piece it is! But the uniformly high quality of the twelve pieces by younger current composers responding to Crumb's masterpiece make for a phenomenal experience. I will definitely be giving both elements of this recording air time. Gerpe's performance of both is amazing."
Check out this terrific review of my Makrokosmos 50 Project performance on Maui - 8/24/22 at the ProArts Playhouse, presented by Ebb and Flow Arts.
L.A. Times Music Critic Mark Swed described it as "magical" and featured it in his wonderful article about Birtwistle, Crumb, Rzewski, Andriessen, Kraft and Lucier.