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In New York it is impossible, almost forced, not to end up trapped by the music of Philip Glass. His operas sound at the Metropolitan Opera, his portrait by Chuck Close on the 86th Street subway and that “Mad Rush” of the city that never sleeps. This project was born influenced by the performer’s musical moment and circumstances after having lived in the Big Apple for 7 years. This “Mad Rush – Philip Glass” project has brought together some of the most representative pieces by one of the most influential composers on the current music scene, recently awarded the XIV BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Music and Opera “for his extraordinary contribution to musical creation and opera, with a great impact on the history of music in the 20th and 21st centuries”, according to the jury.
Makrokosmos I & II (1972/73) is one of the most complete and influential cycles of the new technical resources of the piano from the latter twentieth century.
Each piece is assigned a zodiac sign reflecting his preoccupation with time and space. Crumb exploits all the pianistic color tones imaginable on the keyboard and inside the piano by traversing the entire pitch range of the instrument, using the three pedals, exploiting an (extraordinarily wide dynamic range through amplification), using the pianist's hands to strike, pluck and scrape the strings and through the use of objects: chains, glass tumblers, metal plectrums, metal thimbles, sheets of paper or a wire brush.