Despite the Second Sonata being composed by George "Bad Boy" Antheil, having a subtitle of "The Airplane," and the first movement being marked as "To be played as fast as possible," this is a work that has some subtlety and refinement. Some credit goes to the pianist, Herbert Henck, for balancing the mechanized style with musicianship in his playing. I got the same feeling I get when someone else other than the composer interprets Philip Glass' piano music--there's real music here seeking to reveal itself.
Linda Linda Whitesitt from the Database of American Recorded Music:
Airplane Sonata is the product of a series of spectacular dreams in which Antheil felt that he had "for once caught the true significance and atmosphere of these giant engines and things that move about us."* Written in his hometown of Trenton before he left on his first European concert tour, it is the progenitor of his "time mechanisms”: "the future of the world lies in the vibration of its people. The environment of the machine has already become a spiritual thing.... For the great mass of us the war has killed illusion and sentimentality... Hence the birth of the Music-Mechanists." For Antheil the future would embrace two kinds of music: the Banal or Sentimental from distortions of popular tunes and the Mechanistic from his concept of music as sound unwinding in time.