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Dvorák to Duke EllingtonA Conductor Rediscovers America's Music and Its African-American Roots$
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Maurice Peress

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098228

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195098228.001.0001

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George Antheil's Ballet Mécanique

George Antheil's Ballet Mécanique

Chapter:
(p.119) 13 George Antheil's Ballet Mécanique
Source:
Dvorák to Duke Ellington
Author(s):

Maurice Peress

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195098228.003.0014

This chapter describes the researching and reconstructing of what was perhaps the most infamous modern music event of the 20th century after Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, George Antheil's “Ballet Mecanique” for player piano, eight concert grands, xylophones, drums, a fire siren, doorbells, and aeroplane propellers. It was designed to shock, but beneath its wild surface lies a story that includes the poet, Ezra Pound; artists and film makers Leger, Man Ray, and Picabia; composers W. C. handy (and his all-negro Orchestra) Colin McFee, Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson; and the violinist, Olga Rudge. It was the first work to encompass silences, some as long as twenty-four seconds, and in many minds, minimalism.

Keywords:   Ezra Pound, Fernand Leger, Man Ray, Picabia, W. C. Handy, Colin McFee, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Olga Rudge

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