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Two New Titles from Naxos Books: A History of American Classical Music and Wagner: His Life and Music

April 10, 2007

This April, Naxos Books presents an irresistible and energetic survey of American Classical Music - the first of its kind- by distinguished author Barrymore Laurence Scherer. In A History of American Classical Music, Scherer leads the reader through a colourful history, illustrating the importance of not only renowned names, such as Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein, Joplin and Sousa, but also those formally in the shadows, such as William Henry Fry and Alan Hovhaness. This development, tracked largely by key composers, is set against America’s tempestuous history, putting neatly into context the achievements of the time.

Peppered throughout are references to an incredible 2½ hours of music contained on 2 CDs plus over 150 tracks by 53 different composers on a website, accessed only by owners of the book. All tracks are shrewdly chosen from Naxos’s extensive American Classics catalogue.

“If you want to know American music inside out, this is the book for you!”- Marin Alsop

Another very interesting release this month from Naxos Books is "Wagner: His Life and Music", a new volume in biography series ‘Life and Music’, featuring the controversial titan of German opera Richard Wagner, written by Stephen Johnson. Wagner: His Life and Music is a fascinating portrait where Stephen Johnson makes no attempt to gloss over the darker sides of Wagner’s character, personally or artistically, but argues that the finer aspects of his vision transcend its flaws. He tells the story of an extraordinary life, and charts Wagner’s development, from unpromising beginnings, into the creator of some of the most brilliantly innovatory and seductively beautiful music ever composed.

In common with all books in this unique series, listening to the music is at the heart of its format: 2 CDs accompany the text, as well as a password to a dedicated website containing hours of music by both Wagner and some of his contemporaries.

As with all Naxos Books titles, reading and listening go hand in hand.


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