George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas (2003)

Posted By: peachfuzz
George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas (2003)

George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas
Classical | EAC (APE & CUE) | Wergo (2003) | 2 parts / 183 MB

George Antheil (1900 - 1959)
The Lost Sonatas (WER 66612)
Guy Livingston, Piano
Recorded on July 2003, Paris

1-3 Fifth Sonata
4-6 Sonate Sauvage
7-9 Woman Sonata
11-13 Fourth Sonata
14-16 Third Sonata
total time: 66:46
Fifth Sonata (1950) *
1. andante/allegro molto 7:05
2. minuet 5:16
3. allegro 6:23

Sonate Sauvage (1923)
4. à la négre 3:38
5. serpents 3:59
6. ivoire 1:08

Woman Sonata (1923) *
7. woman (languor) 5:02
8. tree (prestissimo) 0:27
9. flower (moderato) 0:42

Fourth Sonata (1948)
10. allegro giocoso 5:12
11. andante 5:40
12. vivo 3:38

Third Sonata (1947) *
13. allegro 5:12
14. adagio 8:47
15. diabolic 4:30

* 1-3, 7-9, 13-15 World première recodrings
Sotto Voce with Fist: The Story of Antheil’s “Lost” Sonatas
(From the liner note)

Just as John Cage was probably the most notorious American composer of the post-war twentieth century, George Antheil was the most notorious of the pre-war era. Antheil’s succés de scandale was astonishing, making him the rival of Stravinsky and Satie. As with Cage, Antheil’s eagerness to foment revolution came from his daring instrumentation, surprising pronouncements, and anti-establishment attitudes. Works like the Ballet mécanique–scored for 16 mechanical pianos, airplane propellers, percussion, and siren–literally blew people away and caused riots in the concert halls.

An excellent pianist himself, Antheil had full mastery of the instrument and how to write for it. Freest as a soloist, he was unhampered by orchestration problems, or by conservative performers. Up to 1940, he performed all his piano music himself, experimenting with the juiciest, wildest and most radical ideas in the sonatas. Writing about Antheil’s performances in Berlin, critic H. H. Stuckenschmidt raved, “I had never heard playing like it. It was a mixture of frenzy and precision which went far beyond conventional virtuosity. A machine seemed to be playing the keys. Unbelievably difficult and complex rhythms were combined … Dynamics and tempos were taken to extremes. It was a stunning success.” This is the composer who carried a gun to concerts, and could wickedly write a note to the performer: “sotto voce (with fist).”