<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> William Kapell / George Antheil

WILLIAM KAPELL - Complete Recfordings 1944 - 1953|
RCA 887654313621 (11 disks) TT: 12 hours 38:1
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GEORGE ANTHEIL "Bad Boy of Music."
PALADINO MUSIC PMR 0075 (2 disks) 73:22 / 77:20
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This site previously has mentioned recordings by the remarkable American pianist William Kapell, who tragically died in an airplane crash in 1953. There is a feature about him and his career on this site (FEATURE), and reviews of earlier releases of his RCA recordings and some live performances (see CD index). Here are two important keyboard releases. The first is a super budget priced reissue of all of Kapell's RCA recordings 1944 - 1953. We have lots of Chopin (Mazurkas, Sonatas 2 and 3), Beethoven's Concerto No. 2, Rachmaninoff's Paganini Rhapsody and Concerto No. 2, Prokofiev's Concerto No. 3 and his famous early recording of the Khachaturian with Serge Koussevitsky conducting). Plus solo works of Mozart, Schumann, Shostakovich and many other composers, along with Kapell's remarkable performance of Liszt's Mephsto Waltz. Each disk has its own cardboard cover with the same photo on each along with a list of tracks and timings. No booklet here, but what can you expect for about $2 a disk?

George Antheil (1900 - 1959) was an exciting figure on the musical scene, startling audiences with his big-scale music, dissonance and incredible imagination. His Ballet Mechanique, which first appeared in 1925, was highly controversial, and he became known as "the bad boy of music." This site has reviewed a number of recordings of his music (check CD INDEX). I particularly enjoy the ballet Capital of the World; the recording of this has been reissued on EMI and is well worth seeking out (REVIEW). Antheil was a superb pianist and led a unique life, at one time closely associated with actress Hedy Lamarr with whom he collaborated to design a radio guidance system for torpedos that was used by Allied forces during the war. His autobiography is fascinating, and sections of it are read on this fine new recording. There ate two disks featuring a wide selection of Antheil's piano music expertly prayed by Gottlieb Wallish. These are interspersed with readings from Antheil's autobiography, disk one in English by Christopher Roth. Disk two contains the same music, but narration is in German by Karl Mjarkovics .As contents of each disk are similar except for the narratiuon one might expect this to be a two-fior-one set, but it is not. This is a remarkable set, seldom-heard music by an unjustly neglected American composer. Don't miss it!

 

R.E.B. (December 2016)