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     Antheil, George (1900-1959)

    Experimental American composer who is best known for his Ballet Mecanique, for which he threw in everything but the kitchen sink.  Born in Trenton, New Jersey, on 8th July, 1900, he would study briefly with Ernest Bloch before eventually pulling up roots and moving to Paris, France, in 1923, where he would move in the circles of the French avant-garde movement and rub elbows with the likes of Pablo Picasso and Erik Satie, although his early works were met with perplexity at best, even among French audiences, and his Ballet met with disastrous reviews in the States.  It wasn't until he moved to Hollywood in the 1940s and began putting food on the table in more conventional avenues such as film and eventually television music that he enjoyed a modicum of success amongst his contemporaries.  These lucrative efforts afforded him the luxury of completing a Fourth Symphony that met with a glowing reception when it debuted on 13th February, 1944, under the baton of Leopold Stokowski.  His late operas likewise would meet with clamourous reviews, although they are rarely performed to this day.  Antheil died of a heart attack on 12th February, 1959. 

     

    Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra recordings   

    Ballet Mecanique (Revised 1953)

    Naxos 8.559060 (CD: ANTHEIL: Ballet Mecanique)

    Conductor - Daniel Spalding

     

    Serenade for String Orchestra, No. 1

    Naxos 8.559060 (CD: ANTHEIL: Ballet Mecanique)

    Conductor - Daniel Spalding

     

    Symphony for Five Instruments (Second Version)

    Naxos 8.559060 (CD: ANTHEIL: Ballet Mecanique)

    Conductor - Daniel Spalding

     

    Concert for Chamber Orchestra

    Naxos 8.559060 (CD: ANTHEIL: Ballet Mecanique)

    Conductor - Daniel Spalding

     

    Sources:

    1. CD liner notes: Naxos 8.559060 (CD: ANTHEIL: Ballet Mecanique)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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