Makrokosmos I & II
There are a number of cyclically arranged piano works in music history that have assumed the significance of "bibles" for pianists, including Johann Sebastian Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (48 preludes and fugues in two volumes), Frédéric Chopin's 24 Préludes, Claude Debussy's Préludes (24 in two volumes), Dmitri Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues, and György Ligeti's Études. This "genre" is inconceivable today without the first two (of four) cycles by George Crumb comprising 24 tone-pictures: Makrokosmos I & II, performed here by Markus Stange. Composed in 1972 and '73, they very rapidly became a classic of modernism and the most immediately enchanting and popular piano cycle of the last third of the 20th century. Almost incidentally, they unfold a comprehensive panorama of the techniques and sonorous manipulations of the modern grand piano. Crumb has thus succeeded in creating a work that does more than justice to both the explorative claims of the avant-garde and the untrained ear of the amateur. Pianist Markus Stange was born in Ludwigshafen, Germany. He studied piano with Jürgen Uhde in Stuttgart, Roland Keller in Lübeck, and Frantisek Rauch and Valentina Kameníková in Prague, then attended master courses with Ditta Pásztory-Bartók and Aloys Kontarsky. He is currently Professor of Piano at the Music Academy in Karlsruhe.