Arts Blog

Crystal Records: 49 years of music in our midst

I recently interviewed Peter Christ, founder of Crystal Records, based north of Camas, WA. With him, Oregon Symphony’s Principal Horn, John Cox, who has participated in two recent recordings.  Mr. Christ founded Crystal in Los Angeles in 1966, at a time when instrumental music, of the sort that Peter enjoyed, wasn’t covered much by the major labels.  49 years, and a move to the Columbia Gorge later, and Peter is still going strong, releasing probably about a dozen recordings in the last year alone.  I’ve interviewed Peter before, but have never had the chance for him to tell “his story”, about the label, and the people he’s met over the years.  Mr. Cox is a recent addition, lending more than three decades of Symphony performance, and a love of the chance to do chamber music, to a charming suite called “Rainbow Sundae” by Martin Scott Kosins.

Most recently, Mr. Cox is featured on a CD with Mr. Christ and others of the Westwood Wind Quintet of some major works for that complement of instruments.  In the course of my conversation with my guests, John relates how Alvin Etler, an American composer, wrote music during the Cold War years, when there was as much a competition in music and the arts as there was in nuclear arms.  There’s something of that tense age that comes through in Etler’s Woodwind Quintets 1 & 2.  Etler’s successor in this area, Dan Welcher, also contributed a piece to the CD.

It’s my pleasure to share my conversation with these two musicians who have contributed so much our cultural life here in the Pacific Northwest, through the Oregon Symphony and Crystal Records.

Crystal Records: Fate and Fire
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