Tuesday Noontime Concert: George Antheil's “Ballet mécanique”
We’ll be breaking bad on today’s Noontime Concert on The Classical Network. Join host Ross Amico for music by Trenton’s own George Antheil.
Antheil, the self-proclaimed "Bad Boy of Music,” was born in Trenton, NJ, in 1900. His “Ballet mécanique,” for synchronized player pianos, siren, electronic bells, xylophones and airplane propellers, caused a riot at its Paris premiere in 1926.
We’ll hear a live concert performance of Antheil’s magnum opus, arranged for solo piano and eight loudspeakers, by Guy Livingston. Livingston, who makes his home in Paris, is one of the foremost authorities on Antheil and his music, having recorded the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 2, for New World Records, and an album of “The Lost Piano Sonatas,” for the Wergo label, from which we will also be sampling. In 2003, Livingston was artistic director of a George Antheil festival in Trenton.
This performance took place at Tufts University in March, as part of a two-day festival, “The Film Music of George Antheil: The ‘Bad Boy’ in Paris and Hollywood.” The festival included the first American screening of a restored print of the experimental film “Ballet mécanique” by Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy. Tune in for a full hour of Antheil’s music this Tuesday (5/16) at 12 p.m.