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Antheil: Symphonies No 4 & 5 / Wolff, Frankfurt Rso


Release Date: 11/14/2000 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 999706   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Antheil
Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


George Antheil's importance as an American symphonist becomes even more apparent with this second installment in CPO's complete cycle. The CD booklet essay takes great pains to dismiss the stylistic similarities between Antheil and Shostakovich, even going so far as to say that these are mere "coincidence". (Does that explain why Bernstein sounds like Copland?) Once you get past Symphony No. 4's taunting introduction and onto the galloping allegro (and especially once you hit the sarcastic scherzo), you'll be hard pressed not to think of the famous Soviet composer. But there's a deeper level here, a level that Theodore Kuchar and the National Symphony of the Ukraine never penetrate, being
Read more perfectly content to play the music as if it were merely Shostakovich with an accent.


As in his earlier recording of the First and Sixth symphonies, Hugh Wolff finds the music's American essence in its playfulness, jazz rhythms, and, in the poignant slow movement, in a personal and modern unsettledness peculiar to the American psyche. It's harder to defend against the Shostakovich aping charge in the Fifth symphony (1948), with all its Age of Gold dancing and twirling. That is, except for the Finale, who's main motif seems to have sauntered in from the scherzo of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5.


None of this is a concern in Decatur at Algiers (1943), a sort of mini-travelogue describing the composer's adventures that is notable for its shifting moods and use of local color. It's amazing how flexible and un-German the Frankfurt Radio Symphony sounds under Wolff's baton, and how faithfully CPO's recording recreates the hall in your listening room. In sum, Volume 2 is also a hit.
--Victor Carr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 4 "1942" by George Antheil
Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Notes: Composition written: USA (1942 - 1943). 
2.
Symphony no 5 "Joyous" by George Antheil
Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947-1948; USA 
3.
Decatur at Algiers by George Antheil
Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 

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