WLADISLAW SZPILMAN (1911-2000): Suite The Life of Machines, ALEXANDER MOSOLOV (1900-1973): Sonata No. 4, NIKOLAI ROSLAVETS (1881-1944): Sonata No. 2, GEORGE ANTHEIL (1900-1959): Sonatina "Death of the Machines", Sonata No. 4, CONLON NANCARROW (1912-1997): Sonatina.
Catalogue Number: 03J010
Description: Using Szpilman's title as title of the collection, this program of modern piano music from Roslavets' 1916 sonata to Antheil's of 1948 is intended as a glimpse at the effect on composers of the mechanization of society, a problem many authors and artists began to deal with in the late 19th century but which the horrors of World War I seem to have finally brought home to musicians. Not all of this music is "machine music" - Roslavets' unfinished and unpublished sonata (only discovered in the 1990s) is an example of his use of a "synthetic chord" (inspired, of course, by Scriabin) out of which the entire 17-minute work develops - and not all of it sees something sinister in the machine. Szpilman's 1933 suite (both it and the Roslavets are not otherwise available on CD) is actually good-natured, like a cute little perpetual-motion machine happily humming along - the exact opposite of Antheil's brief 1922 depiction of machines breaking down. Nothing else here is exactly standard repertoire (this is the only available recorded composition by Szpilman who was, of course the real-life pianist in Roman Polanski's film The Pianist) and EDA, as always, provides lengthy (almost nine pages in English), detailed and well-translated notes. Vladimir Stoupel (piano).