Music from the Machine Age
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Cat No: ONYX4086
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 6th February 2012
WorksThe Miraculous Mandarin (suite), op.19 Sz73
The Perfect Fool: Ballet Music, op.39
Scythian Suite, op.20
ArtistsBorusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra
The music reflects the edgy, dangerous and turbulent political and social landscape of the period. This is music of great rhythmic vitality: Ravel’s refracted memories of a vanished Habsburg Vienna destroyed by the 1914–18 War, to the primitive barbarism of Prokofiev’s 'Scythian Suite' and the lurid violence of Bartok’s 'Miraculous Mandarin' with its themes of lust, criminality, prostitution and murder.
Schulhoff’s ballet 'Ogelala', like Prokofiev’s score, concerns pagan rituals and warring tribes, and a young couple who are meant to kill each other, but end up falling in love.
Holst’s comic opera, 'The Perfect Fool', written in 1918–22, begins with a ballet which is danced by Spirits of Earth, Water and Fire. The score is brilliant – and though less concerned with human drama than the other works on this disc, the drive, energy and sheer brilliance of Holst’s score is very much of its time.
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