ANTHEIL: Specter – performed by  Duo Odeon – Music of George Antheil – Sono Luminus 

A good collection of Antheil’s music, played with passion and precision

Antheil: Specter – performed by  Duo Odeon – Music of George Antheil – Sono Luminus Audio CD DSL-92222 (6-22-18) TT: 61:59

George Antheil (1900-1959) was an American composer—born in Trenton, New Jersey—who began his professional career in Europe, where he was friends with, among many others, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, Eric Satie, and Igor Stravinsky. Antheil wrote over 300 musical works – symphonies, chamber works, film music, and operas.

This disc gives us a collection of Antheil’s chamber music, performed by two of Antheil’s greatest supporters, the Duo Odeon, violinist Hannah Leland and pianist Aimee Fincher. They formed Duo Odeon in 2014 during their doctoral studies at Arizona State University. They also champion other contemporary composers to give them a wider audience.

Although all the pieces on the disc are quite interesting, I was absorbed by Valses from Specter of the Rose, an arrangement of music from Antheils 1947 film score for Specter of the Rose.

The recording is an intimate one for all three works, with a hint of room ambiance. Most of the music is centered between the front speakers, and I listened in stereo and in faux surround with an expanded sound stage provided by Dolby Pro Logic.

I applaud the focus on Antheil’s music, which is simply not heard widely enough.

Track List:
Violin Sonatina:
1 Violin Sonatina: I. Allegro
2 Violin Sonatina: II. Andante
3 Violin Sonatina: III. Allegro molto

Violin Concerto (Version for Violin & Piano):
4 Violin Concerto (Version for Violin & Piano): I. Moderato assai
5 Violin Concerto (Version for Violin & Piano): II. Andante
6 Violin Concerto (Version for Violin & Piano): III. Presto capriccioso

Spectre of the Rose Waltz (Arr. W. Gebauer for Violin & Piano):
7 Spectre of the Rose Waltz (Arr. W. Gebauer for Violin & Piano): I. Maestoso
8 Spectre of the Rose Waltz (Arr. W. Gebauer for Violin & Piano): II. Poco allegretto
9 Spectre of the Rose Waltz (Arr. W. Gebauer for Violin & Piano): III. Più vivo – À la valse

—Mel Martin

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