It is seldom thought about, but the American tradition of serious music has a well documented repertoire of symphonists; Copland,Mennin,Schuman,Bernstein,Roy Harris, Hanson,Diamond,Corigliano,Harbison, and Antheil.Many of these symphonies were written during the War,(we always had some international conflict), and American was thought of even then as the savior from Fascism, as policeman of the world, and the content of these symphonies for the most part adopted this triumphantism, but it also looks at and commented on the horrors and ambiguities of War, and that perhaps America's role had an air of anxiety,brutality and opaqueness attached to its face. Especially if you are an outsider looking in. These Antheil Symphonies are again great marvelous works but hardly ever played. The Chicago Symphony has yet to do one, and I can't phanthom the reason except the time honored one the reason of politics. These orchestral works are the late Antheil, he died in 1959, after having literally a thunderous start of a career hanging out with the avant garde in Paris during the Twenties with James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Picasso, and Erik Satie, all who attended his piano solo concerts. This popularity came to an end by the time of the Depression, when he retuned to the States as a War correspondent, and writer of a column, settling in Hollywood writing film scores. All these works here are powerful,with the brass proclaiming itself unencumbered by anyone. But then the gentle Antheil also introduces in quick succession of isolated colours of the flute,almost like Yankee Doodle. Antheil was a fair orchestrator,very robust sound he achieves,doubling the same tones,but it's odd that his more experimentalist strains, of the Ballet mechannique, of chord clusters, and extra-musical sounds, as airplane propellors, and the motoric drive, didn't find its way into his thinking for the orchestra. McKonkey's Ferry is a truly patriotic piece after the image of Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas. Very livily,yet heavy and burdensome for an overture,it doesn't let you go, like Antehil tells us that something else more dangerous is at stake here. The National Symphony of the Ukraine with Theodore Kuchar play just as well as if Solti or Bernstein had a hand in the proceedings, with lots of balance yet the sound is harsh and strained, almost cracking from the sheer weight, a powerful sound from the top down,clean impacted sound. The contrast with Shostakovich is a fairly apt one, however Antheil's creativity had a greater conceptual freedom, greater imagination for structure and genre, although both were practicing film composers who brought that art to their orchestrations.