Infernal Machine, The (brief symphonic work)

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Rouse, Christopher. The Infernal Machine. Brief symphonic work (ca. five minutes). Premiered Avignon, France, 1981. Available on Nonesuch, 79118-1, 1986. Our major source: Chicago Symphony Series, Leonard Slatkin, conducting. WGUC-FM, Cincinnati, OH, Saturday, 2 Feb. 1985.

Music based on Jean Cocteau's play, La Machine infernale (The Infernal Machine, 1934), itself based on a rather Freudian reading of the legend of Oedipus in which the machinery of the human subconscious is the "destiny" that negates free will. Composer tried to suggest a great, self-sufficient machine, eternally in motion, not demonic in itself but potentially dangerous to people in its indifferent operation.