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Specter: The Music of George Antheil / Duo Odeon

Release Date: 06/22/2018 
Label:  Sono Luminus   Catalog #: 92222  
Composer:  George Antheil
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Odéon
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In the words of Duo Odéon: “… We met during our first year as doctoral students at Arizona State University, developing a natural collaborative energy when Hannah began writing her dissertation on Antheil’s three Parisian violin sonatas. Over the course of six months, we discovered the very limits of our technical and musical skill as we worked through each piece. We thrived on the raw energy and driving aggression of Antheil’s early sonatas, finding beauty in their vivacity and quirky athleticism. In the fall of 2016, we received an email… informing us of a newly discovered Antheil work for violin and piano, found amongst the late violinist Werner Gebauer’s papers. Marc Gebauer, his son, had unearthed a set of three short waltzes, Read more Valses from “Specter of the Rose,” an arrangement of music from Antheil’s 1947 film score for Specter of the Rose. As we studied Gebauer’s Valses, we learned that Antheil and Gebauer’s relationship extended far beyond successful musical collaboration into friendship, mirroring our own musical relationship. Over the course of their collaboration, Antheil composed two works specifically for Gebauer, his 1945 Sonatina for Violin and Piano and his 1946 Violin Concerto… In the ink of the handwritten manuscript at the Library of Congress, we could see Antheil’s borrowed melodies and ideas from earlier works pop out of the page, transformed for Gebauer’s technical brilliance… In our recording we have attempted to remain as close to the handwritten score as possible… With these three pieces, we have come to a deeper understanding of the collaboration and friendship between two incredible musicians...”



This is a disc of late period Antheil, specifically 1945-47, a good 20 years removed from his wildest and most experimental period when he was the enfant terrible of Paris and New York. That being said, late Antheil was still a very good composer, perhaps more influenced by Stravinsky than previously, and it shows in the superb structure of these works, written for violinist Werner Gebauer, concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The Valses are, in fact, a world premiere recording.

– Art Music Lounge

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. I applaud the focus on Antheil’s music, which is simply not heard widely enough. The recording is an intimate one for all three works, with a hint of room ambiance.

– Audiophile Audition

This entire disk is devoted to Antheil’s mid-40s compositions for violin and piano and it is in that capacity a major undertaking. We get a chance to hear three substantial compositions played with true verve and understanding.

The Sonatina is a major offering performed with an excellent insight into the music, which is illuminating certainly of Antheil’s brilliant inventive talents.

The Concerto is most lively, and if I sometimes notice some passages very indebted to Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto, it is with a certain joy since Antheil integrates and revivifies the motifs to make something altogether his.

The Valses are a welcome addition. Three movements at a little over six minutes do not sound at all incidental but substantial in their brevity.

And in the end I come away from this CD with a real appreciation for Duo Odeon and their beautifully communicative Modernist musicianship and virtuosity.

– Gapplegate Classical Modern Music Review Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonatina for Violin and Piano by George Antheil
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Odéon
Period: 20th Century 
Written: United States 
Concerto for Violin by George Antheil
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Odéon
Period: 20th Century 
Written: United States 
Spectre of the Rose Waltz by George Antheil
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Odéon
Period: 20th Century 
Written: United States 

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