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Symphonies Nos. 4 & 6

Antheil Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 10.51 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

1. McKonkey's Ferry (Washington At Trenton); A Concert Overture
2. Symphony No. 4: I. Moderato - Allegretto
3. Symphony No. 4: II. Allegro
4. Symphony No. 4: III. Scherzo: Presto
5. Symphony No. 4: IV. Allegro non troppo
6. Symphony No. 6: I. Maestoso - Allegro molto; marcato
7. Symphony No. 6: II. Larghetto
8. Symphony No. 6: III. Allegro

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars "Not an American Voice" Oct. 12 2002
Format:Audio CD
To me, this CD is one of the worst in the "American Classics" from Naxos. I feel he doesn't have much of a personal stamp. Antheil sounds too much like Prokofiev and Shostakovich.(who he obviously admires) If you want to hear a great American classic, get the Creston Sym 1-3 or V. Thomson's Symphonies from the same series. Now that's memorial music!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten American Master April 1 2001
Format:Audio CD
George Antheil (1900-1959) is forgotten today. If the music on this CD is typical, then that is a real shame. Antheil's two symphonies (excellently recorded by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine under the direction of Theodor Kuchar) are real finds. They actually make a more immediately enjoyable listen than most of Prokofiev's efforts in the form (the superb 1st and 5th symphonies excepted of course). The 6th Symphony is particularly good. Indeed as a composer I find (based on these works anyway) Antheil more interesting and enjoyable than Howard Hanson (and I like Hanson). And he is head and shoulders above more respected composers of the "hyper-complex noisemaker" school - such prolix note spinners as Milton Babbitt, and Elliott Carter. This CD is an excellent value and well worth your time. A good CD of Antheil's piano music (and he was an excellent pianist) is available on Con Legno CD expertly performed by Benedikt Koehlen. The piano music is of a more aggressively "modern" tone than the orchestral music on this CD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars No Bad Boy Nov. 16 2000
Format:Audio CD
Years ago I learned that Antheil was the 'bad boy of (American) music', so I wondered how his music should sound. Well, if this is a bad boy, he definitely has become more boy than bad. For my ears this are well-crafted symphonies with sometimes-piquant harmonies and a jazz-rhythm here and there.
But they gave me great pleasure in these very good performances. For me it's unbelievable that Naxos can give us such great series like these American Classics, almost for nothing. I hope they will record one or two of Antheil's ballets too. And in the meantime CPO is doing a great job by recording all of Antheil's symphonies in exemplary performances.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beat drums, beat! Blow, trumpets, blow! Oct. 3 2000
Format:Audio CD
Naxos' "American Classics" series has been uneven, not in the quality of the performances or in the engineering, but in the choice of repertoire. The symphonies by George Templeton Strong and Meredith Wilson vanish quickly from memory; Piston's violin concerti and Lees' Fourth Symphony, on the other hand, stand out as remarkable works and as valuable additions to the recorded catalogue. Despite some reservations, the disc of symphonic music (two symphonies and an overture) by George Antheil (1900-1959) belongs to the second category. Since everyone tells the story of Antheil's transformation from the "bad-boy" composer of the 1925 "Ballet Méchanique" to the relatively conservative symphonist of the 1940s and 50s, I'll skip it. Suffice it that Antheil recognized that he needed to connect with audience, that the symphony was the public concert-utterance par excellence, and that he could write them fluently. Symphony No. 4 dates from 1942 and is a "war symphony." Maybe more accurately it is a kind of symphonic pep-rally to stoke the morale of American audiences. Mind you, I find nothing wrong with that. (What else was Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" or Harris's Fifth Symphony?) While obviously echoing the musical vocabularies of the Soviet school (Shostakovich and Prokofiev), Antheil's Fourth manages to be a rollicking good, thoroughly march-oriented, blazingly brassy, echt American exercise in cinematographic triumphalism. It sounds for all the world like the classy soundtrack for a vintage Department of Defense film about "Our Boys in North Africa" or "The Allied Landing in Sicily." You can imagine, in your mind's ear, one of those 1940s newsreel voices narrating the action. Read more ›
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