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Fighting the Waves: Music of George Antheil

George Antheil , HK Gruber , Ensemble Modern Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Performer: Ensemble Modern
  • Conductor: HK Gruber
  • Composer: George Antheil
  • Audio CD (July 16, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000003FU0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,327 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Printemps I - Jagdish Mistry
2. Ballet Mecanique - Ens Modern/HK Gruber
3. Fighting The Waves - Martyn Hill
4. A Jazz Sym - Ens Modern/HK Gruber
5. Lithuanian Night: Moderato - Ens Modern/HK Gruber
6. Lithuanian Night: Presto - Ens Modern/HK Gruber
7. Jazz Son - Ens Modern/HK Gruber
8. Con - Ens Modern/HK Gruber
9. Vn Son No. 1: Allegro Moderato - Jagdish Mistry/Hermann Kretzschmar
10. Vn Son No. 1: Andante Moderato - Jagdish Mistry/Hermann Kretzschmar
11. Vn Son No. 1: Funebre: Lento Espressivo - Jagdish Mistry/Hermann Kretzschmar
12. Vn Son No. 1: Presto - Jagdish Mistry/Hermann Kretzschmar
13. Printemps II - Jagdish Mistry

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction To Antheil August 30, 2010
Format:Audio CD
This immaculately programmed and performed album is an excellent introduction to the compositional bad boy George Antheil, who once brought a gun to one of his performances, inspiring the phrase "ne tirez pas sur le pianiste", and later co-invented a torpedo with the actress Hedy Lamarr (!); but as with so many avant-gardists, he was more of a provocateur than an innovator, and gradually both his work and his career faded away and he later became a gossip columnist in Hollywood.

If I may, I would just like to point out an error made by the previous reviewer, who states that the score of Antheil's best-known work, "Ballet Mechanique", was here 'reconstructed using midi'. I'm not sure what that means - the score was never lost, and midi is a "musical instrument digital interface" that allows computers to communicate musical data - but in any case this recording uses no computer-generated sounds; it is as indicated in the album notes a performance of Antheil's revised version of 1952, with the original 8 pianos cut to 4, 4 xylophones to 2, and other similar instrumental reductions. In addition, repetitious passages have been removed, paring the work from thirty minutes to about half that, but without losing any of the basic character or effect of the work.

And yes, it still has airplane propellers, two of them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Actually, The "Ballet Mecanique" performed on this particular disc is weak compared to the attempted recreation of the Carnegie Hall disc and weaker still to the wonderful recent recreation which is on a double DVD .... through the use of a computer and modern player pianos , 16 or them, the original concept of Antheil's was finally realized . He was unable to synchronize that many player pianos back in the twenties , consequently every attempt at the piece was always a compromise of the full version that was notated and in concert in Antheil's if your interested in "Ballet Mecanique" , go for the double DVD that can be found at [...]...... all that said, the haunting and moving piece "Fighting The Waves" is majestic and stunning piece that he did for a John Keates play in 1929 or there abouts . It is operatic , and it is in English . it is by far and away the best piece on this disc.....The other string works on this CD are quite good as well, again, not as powerful and moving as FTW but none the less very good and often very dark.....Antheil was about way more than "Ballet Mecanique"...
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ballet Mechanique - sounds of the Machine Age December 3, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
When not hanging out in Paris with Stravinsky, Joyce, and other 20's hipsters, Lowell, Mass native George Antheil contemplated his love for the sound machines.
He spent an entire year writing a piece that couldn't be played... until recently.
Ballet Mechanique was written for something like sixteen player pianos, xylophones, gongs, sirens, airplane propellors... the list sounds like the basement of a mad musical scientist than a score order.
Which is just as well - the music sounds like someone set someone loose in a piano factory with a sledgehammer and a couple of tabs of microdot.
The musical score was painstakingly reconstructed using MIDI, and the end result is... well, awesome. The fear it inspires is such that perhaps, had it been heard in the twenties, we'd all be living in Yurts in Eugene, Oregon, and Y2K would mean "pass the bowl, bro."
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