George Antheil’s “greatest hit”, a cacophony of percussion and mechanical instruments, which mortified audiences at its 1927 debut in the States. Originally scored for sixteen player pianos, percussion, drums and xylophones, it was re-scored several times by the composer. The last of these, dating from 1953, includes a paltry four pianos, two xylophones, drums, bells, gong, cymbal, tambourine, woodblock, triangle and aeroplane propellers. Although it was too modern for the audiences for which it was written, it is now regarded as one of the most important compositions of the twentieth century.
Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra recordings
Ballet Mecanique (Revised 1953)
Naxos 8.559060 (CD: ANTHEIL: Ballet Mecanique)
Conductor – Daniel Spalding
- CD liner notes: Naxos 8.559060 (CD: ANTHEIL: Ballet Mecanique)