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Guy Livingston|George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas

George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas

Guy Livingston

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Pianist Guy Livingston has brought his considerable talents to bear on the "bad boy of music" in the Wergo disc George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas. Livingston attempts to reconcile George Antheil's late "populist" music with the clangorous early piano compositions that have become Antheil's calling card to posterity. In the process Livingston uncovers a host of masterworks from both periods, proving that in his piano music, Antheil was neither a publicity hound, a "fake" futurist, nor a slavish imitator of mid-century trends hoping to graze from the same gravy train as Copland. In a sense, of the three late piano sonatas heard here, Sonata No. 4 has never been "lost" so much as terribly neglected; it was duly published by Weintraub back in 1951 and has been recorded a few times. However, the others, save Sonata Sauvage, have not been played in five or more decades. The Piano Sonata No. 5, which opens the disc, is a real gem, particularly the concluding Allegro, which seems to bring boogie-woogie stylings into the orbit of Prokofiev. The melting lyricism of the Adagio movement of the Sonata No. 3 may surprise some listeners, but it is not so astonishing if you understand the milieu of the short second movement of Antheil's "Airplane" Sonata. George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas' great strength is not so much in that it introduces so many works never heard before as it shows us how much Antheil's later music is like his earlier music. Hopefully this will bury for all time the criticism of "stylistic inconsistency" that has dogged Antheil in posterity and has contributed to his neglect. Wergo's recording is perfect, picking up the piano's full range, from intimacy in the Sonata No. 3 to the blistering loudness of the Sonata Sauvage, reproducing it all faithfully. The task of playing Antheil's piano music well is in itself quite a feat. It requires the stamina and agility of a boxer tempered with the sensitivity of a poet and a mathematician's sense of logic. Livingston is the champion on all counts, and this is the best compact disc of George Antheil's piano music ever.
© TiVo

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George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas

Guy Livingston

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1
Fifth Sonata: 1. Andante / Allegro molto
00:07:05

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

2
Fifth Sonata: 2. Minuet
00:05:16

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

3
Fifth Sonata: 3. Allegro
00:06:23

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

4
Sonate Sauvage: 1. À la nègre
00:03:38

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

5
Sonate Sauvage: 2. Serpents
00:03:59

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

6
Sonate Sauvage: 3. Ivoire
00:01:08

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

7
Woman Sonata: 1. Woman (Languor)
00:05:02

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

8
Woman Sonata: 2. Tree (Prestissimo)
00:00:27

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

9
Woman Sonata: 3. Flower (Moderato)
00:00:42

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

10
Fourth Sonata: 1. Allegro giocoso
00:05:12

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

11
Fourth Sonata: 2. Andante
00:05:40

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

12
Fourth Sonata: 3. Vivo
00:03:38

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

13
Third Sonata: Allegro
00:05:12

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

14
Third Sonata: Adagio
00:08:47

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

15
Third Sonata: Diabolic
00:04:30

George Antheil, Composer - Guy Livingston, MainArtist - Antheil,George, Composer

(C) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH (P) 2003 Wergo, a division of Schott Music & Media GmbH

Album Description

Pianist Guy Livingston has brought his considerable talents to bear on the "bad boy of music" in the Wergo disc George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas. Livingston attempts to reconcile George Antheil's late "populist" music with the clangorous early piano compositions that have become Antheil's calling card to posterity. In the process Livingston uncovers a host of masterworks from both periods, proving that in his piano music, Antheil was neither a publicity hound, a "fake" futurist, nor a slavish imitator of mid-century trends hoping to graze from the same gravy train as Copland. In a sense, of the three late piano sonatas heard here, Sonata No. 4 has never been "lost" so much as terribly neglected; it was duly published by Weintraub back in 1951 and has been recorded a few times. However, the others, save Sonata Sauvage, have not been played in five or more decades. The Piano Sonata No. 5, which opens the disc, is a real gem, particularly the concluding Allegro, which seems to bring boogie-woogie stylings into the orbit of Prokofiev. The melting lyricism of the Adagio movement of the Sonata No. 3 may surprise some listeners, but it is not so astonishing if you understand the milieu of the short second movement of Antheil's "Airplane" Sonata. George Antheil: The Lost Sonatas' great strength is not so much in that it introduces so many works never heard before as it shows us how much Antheil's later music is like his earlier music. Hopefully this will bury for all time the criticism of "stylistic inconsistency" that has dogged Antheil in posterity and has contributed to his neglect. Wergo's recording is perfect, picking up the piano's full range, from intimacy in the Sonata No. 3 to the blistering loudness of the Sonata Sauvage, reproducing it all faithfully. The task of playing Antheil's piano music well is in itself quite a feat. It requires the stamina and agility of a boxer tempered with the sensitivity of a poet and a mathematician's sense of logic. Livingston is the champion on all counts, and this is the best compact disc of George Antheil's piano music ever.
© TiVo

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