The marking of America's Independence Day each July provides an opportunity to spotlight Naxos' unparalleled American Classics catalogue that enjoys the addition of numerous new albums, year on year. The latest contrasting releases of orchestral works and vocal music respectively by Peter Boyer and William McClelland typify the craftsmanship of composers and excellence in execution of each programme, many of which feature world premiere recordings.
Peter Boyer is one of the most frequently performed American orchestral composers of his generation. His works have received over 600 public performances by more than 200 orchestras, and tens of thousands of broadcasts by classical radio stations around the US and abroad. Boyer’s GRAMMY-nominated Ellis Island: The Dream of America has become one of the most performed American orchestral works of recent years, with 250 performances by more than 100 orchestras.
Composer and pianist William McClelland, acclaimed for his “vivid music”, “appealingly direct manner of expression” and “fertile contrapuntal imagination” (Gramophone), has written a wide variety of music in many styles. His music has been presented throughout North America and he has been the recipient of a number of awards and commissions.
Browse through the full American Classics catalogue for more titles from the award-winning series.
* WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
This album presents eight of the most recent works by Peter Boyer, one of the leading American orchestral composers of his generation. Balance of Power was commissioned for the 95th birthday of former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, while Fanfare for Tomorrow was composed for the inauguration of President Joe Biden in 2021. Each of these pieces displays Boyer’s vivid soundscapes and tuneful American sensibilities, from the cinematic sweep of Rolling River to Radiance, composed especially for this album. Boyer’s GRAMMY-nominated Ellis Island: The Dream of America (8.559246) has received over 250 performances and was televised by PBS.
Internationally acclaimed composer William McClelland has written a wide variety of music in many styles and forms, but the works in this programme have all been inspired by poetry. The choral works evoke the atmosphere of time and place in settings of very early texts, including Catullus’ movingly elegiac lament for his lost brother, These Last Gifts, an experience shared by the composer. The short pieces in Five for Piano all evoke specific poems and, composed over several decades, McClelland’s songs are primarily settings of poetry by American writers that express a mystical, symbolic or visionary view on nature.