An Antheil Love Affair

An Antheil Love Affair
© photo: Julia Rubio
"I'm crazy about Antheil. His music is madcap, charming and wonderfully American. But for a handful of pieces, his works are little known." Thus declares Miller Theatre executive director George Steel. On 7 October, pianist Guy Livingston joins Daniel Spalding and the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra at Miller to reintroduce to American audiences three forgotten scores of George Antheil: PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 - in its American premiere; DREAMS BALLET, and SERENADE NO. 2 FOR CHAMBER ORCHESTRA. Steel continues, "For a few years now, I've been speaking with Guy about presenting a portrait concert here at Miller Theatre, and recently Daniel and I have been talking about the same thing. It's a three-way love affair for Antheil's music." The concert offers the second performance of both DREAMS BALLET and SERENADE NO. 2, which haven't been played since their premieres. The program repeats in Philadelphia on the 9th. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - “George Antheil’s music has wit, humor, and is always full of fabulous colors.” — Daniel Spalding - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2 premiered in Paris on 12 March 1927, as part of the popular series "Concerts Golschmann," presented by the brothers Vladimir Golschmann, conductor, and pianist Boris Golschmann. Written after BALLET MÉCANIQUE, this work evidences Antheil's change in compositional style as he himself called it "neoclassic." After returning to the US in the early thirties, Antheil wrote a series of ballets for Georges Balanchine and the American Ballet. DREAMS BALLET was first performed on 5 March 1935 conducted by Sandor Harmati. Antheil noted of this work "We are trying, in American style and spirit, to revive the Diaghilev tradition." Antheil's SERENADE NO. 2 was premiered on 26 February 1950 by the Los Angeles Chamber Symphony. Composed as a companion work to his SERENADE FOR STRING ORCHESTRA, it illustrates the composer's gift and imagination for creating mosaic, block-like structures featuring America-inspired melody and energetic orchestration.

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