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AMERICAN SPIRIT (The): Roots and Transformations (5-CD Box Set)



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AMERICAN SPIRIT (The): Roots and Transformations (5-CD Box Set)

“For over a decade now, Naxos American Classics has released a treasure trove of music from the United States; it’s a collection of repertoire which both reaches back to the dawn of our nation and embraces brand new works, and much of it is unavailable anywhere else. Listening to these recordings is a way to sonically experience the history of our country and its landscape. The four Naxos American Classics releases selected for this Americana collection (which include a total of five CDs) focus on some of the defining moments of that history. First, there is a panorama of works inspired by Abraham Lincoln in definitive performances conducted by American music champion Leonard Slatkin (including Aaron Copland’s celebrated Lincoln Portrait as well as a little-known work by Vincent Persichetti commissioned for the second inauguration of Richard Nixon!). Then Hannibal Lokumbe’s rousing tribute to Rosa Parks, one of the icons of the Civil Rights Movement, features the Detroit Symphony and the combined singers of two of Michigan’s most venerable choruses. Next, Peter Boyer’s dramatic account of the arrival of immigrants to Ellis Island in the early 20th century is narrated by an all-star cast including Eli Wallach and Olympia Dukakis. Finally, the recording I personally find most fascinating, the first-ever complete recordings of two film scores by Virgil Thomson for 1930s documentaries detailing the plight of rural Americans prior to the New Deal. FDR attempted to screen one of these films, The Plow that Broke the Plains, before a joint session of congress, but the capitol chambers were not properly equipped to do so; it did, however, become the first film to be placed in the US congressional archives.” – Frank Oteri, NewMusicBox

  1. BOYER, P.: Ellis Island: The Dream of America (Philharmonia Orchestra, Boyer)  8.559246
  2. Orchestral Music - IVES, C. / PERSICHETTI, V. / HARRIS, R. / BACON, E. / GOULD, M. / McKAY, G.F. / TUROK, P. (Lincoln Portraits) (Slatkin)  8.559373-74
  3. THOMSON, V.: Plow that Broke the Plains (The) / The River (Post-Classical Ensemble, Gil-Ordonez)  8.559291
  4. LOKUMBE, H.: Dear Mrs. Parks (Chandler-Eteme, Steele, Deas, Rackham Symphony Choir, Brazeal Dennard Chorale, Detroit Symphony, Wilkins)  8.559668

Label: Naxos

Catalogue No: 8.505233

Barcode: 747313523337

Distribution Note(s):

Box Set available in North America.

Release Date: 11/2012

For U.S. and Canada:
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