Antheil: Ballet Mécanique

Antheil: Ballet Mécanique

by Daniel Spalding
     
 

The Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, conducted by founder Daniel Spalding, give George Antheil's once notorious "Ballet mécanique" an exciting and colorful performance for Naxos here. While this work has lost much of its ability to shock, it is nevertheless an invigorating composition, sounding fresh and impertinent even today. With considerable energy and… See more details below

Overview

The Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, conducted by founder Daniel Spalding, give George Antheil's once notorious "Ballet mécanique" an exciting and colorful performance for Naxos here. While this work has lost much of its ability to shock, it is nevertheless an invigorating composition, sounding fresh and impertinent even today. With considerable energy and accuracy, the players present the work's audacious effects with appropriate brusqueness and metallic incisiveness, sparing nothing at the music's explosive end. Using the revised version from 1953, the ensemble here consists of four pianos, two xylophones, glockenspiel, various standard percussion, two electric bells, and the drones of two airplane propellers of different sizes. Antheil's clarified orchestration heightens the clever play of interlocking patterns and the even dispersal of the percussion's sharp timbres. In the course of the piece's rambunctious activity, the overwhelming influence of Stravinsky becomes apparent. The pounding ostinati, dynamic rhythms, cellular melodic material, parallel chord progressions -- even what seem to be a few direct quotations from the "Rite of Spring" and "Petrushka" -- all admit the impact the older composer had on Antheil's music. The all-digital sound of this recording is bright and crisp, and the often overlapping sonorities of the cymbals, triangle, and bells are distinctly separated.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/2001
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943906026
catalogNumber:
8559060
Rank:
330186

Tracks

  1. Ballet mécanique, for 4 pianos, 2 electric bells, 2 airplane propellers & percussion (1953 revision), W. 156c  - George Antheil  - Tim Smith  - Daniel Spalding
  2. Serenade, for string orchestra No. 1, W. 189  - George Antheil  - Tim Smith  - Daniel Spalding
  3. Symphony for Five Instruments, for flute, bassoon, trumpet, trombone & viola (2nd Version, a.k.a. "Quintette"), W. 129b  - George Antheil  - Tim Smith  - Daniel Spalding
  4. Concert (Concerto), for chamber orchestra, W. 170  - George Antheil  - Tim Smith  - Daniel Spalding

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