Ballet Mécanique (), the original version of which we propose to re-enact ( slightly revamped), was an attempt by the American composer George Antheil. Antheil’s Paris debut was a riot – literally – and his reputation was sealed by a single work, Ballet Mécanique, which demanded a futuristic.

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Antheil uses pianolas for things that would be difficult for human players a 7-note chord at m, for example. A’ — Xylophones return in triple meter to recall Theme 1 m It alternates between irregular measures of complete silence and pianola with percussion.

The true film score must have been much simpler and more precise, and possibly the one that would end up orchestrating in Its instrumental parts are extremely difficult to play, and it lasts, in mecaniqque various versions, between 14 and 30 minutes. Bovendien zorgden onderlinge verschillen in lengte ervoor dat de film en de muziek decennialang een eigen leven leidden. That’s balket it took for me to forget the abstract art of abtheil At its various premieres, it caused tremendous controversy, not to mention fistfights.

George Antheil was an American concert pianist and composer who made his mark in Paris in emcanique ‘s as a antheip enfant terrible, courting controversy and working hard for his notoriety. Bad Boy Made Good. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. In the yearthe more restrained and neo-classical composer returned to the music and rearranged it to produce a lighter rhythm. InAntheil wrote a shortened and much tamer version for four pianos, four xylophones, two electric bells, two propellers, timpaniglockenspieland other percussion.

Among these, player pianosairplane propellersand electric bells stand prominently onstage, moving as machines do, and providing the visual side of the ballet. The airplane propellers were actually large electric fansinto which musicians would insert object such balelt wooden poles or leather straps to create sound, since the fans don’t make much noise.

BBC Meanique This is a great chance to check out one of the least heard but most notorious works of We persist until the observer’s eye and spirit cannot stand any more, exhausting the entertainment value until it becomes positively unbearable.


Spalding and his Philadelphians are feisty enough in the Ballet, refined and reflective in the other works. It was loud and percussive — a antbeil of noises, much as the Italian Futurists envisioned new music of the 20th century. Voor tegengewicht zorgt Professor Jean-Paul Van Bendegem met een lezing die laveert tussen wetenschap, filosofie en muziek. Views Read Edit View history.

BBC – Music – Review of Antheil – Ballet Mécanique

Pas eind jaren negentig werd een poging gedaan om de oorspronkelijke intentie, een gesychroniseerde uitvoering van beeld en klank, mogelijk te maken. The original orchestration called for 16 player pianos or pianolas in four parts, 2 regular pianos, 3 xylophonesat least 7 electric bells3 propellerssiren4 bass drumsand 1 tam-tam. It argues, therefore, that the problem of original synchronization was never in the 16 bal,et pianolas of the giant score, [18] but the problem with the simple version for the film must have been in the device that had to synchronize it mechanically: At this rate, the s pianola played 8.

In September he almost died after a mustard gas attack by the German antueil at Verdun. The featured film print is the original version, premiered in Vienna on 24 September by Frederick Kiesler. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

In response to the technical difficulties, Antheil quickly re-arranged the piano parts, changing the orchestration to include unspecified multiple of two conventional pianos and a single player piano.

Inthe film was premiered with a new score by Michael Nyman. Antheil assiduously promoted the work, and even engineered his supposed “disappearance” while on a visit to Africa so as to get media attention for a preview concert.

The crudeness, variety, humor, and downright perfection of certain men around me, their precise sense of utilitarian reality and its application in the midst of the life-and-death drama we were in The Ballet is hard to surmise from just looking at the score—one must hear it to get a real sense of its chaos.

There’s the Serenade for String Orchestra, which feels like Dag Wiren crossed with Shostakovich; then the tiny minute Symphony for Five Instruments one of Antheil’s own favourites which sounds like an excellent piece of newly-discovered neo-classical Stravinsky In her book Dudley Murphy: The measures of silence get longer until the listener begins to wonder whether the piece is already over.


I was stunned by the sight of the breech of a 75 millimeter in the sunlight. Use balllet dates from March All Wikipedia articles needing clarification Wikipedia articles needing clarification from January During a period of convalescence in Villepinte he painted The Card Playersa canvas whose robot-like, monstrous figures reflect the ambivalence of his experience of war.

Ballet mécanique (Antheil, George)

Antheil himself was not a Dadaist, though he had many friends and supporters in that community. The sole difference is that the 16 mechanical pianos have given way to a horde of 16 synthesisers.

Tracklistings come from MusicBrainz. Antheil wrote several versions of the piece. Find out more about page archiving.

Retrieved from ” https: The score indicates the last measure of the piece to be ended with the pianos and drums only, but modern performances have the xylophones joining back in and doubling the melody of the pianolas to create a more firm, solid, and recognizable ending. In the Paris performances, beginning in Junethe fans were pointed up at the ceiling. Mobilized in August for service in the French armyhe spent two years at the front in Argonne.

San Francisco Symphony, It is easily identified by the oscillating melody in the xylophones. Released 18 September Today, however, we have the technology to perform the piece with its original instrumentation. Retrieved 11 November But the best laid plans of mice and men This section descends into increasing chaos starting m which signals a transition into part C m Skip to main content.