The USA celebrates its Independence Day on the Fourth of July, and Naxos takes pride in joining the salute by highlighting the significant contribution that American composers, conductors and artists have made to our treasured world of classical music.
The highly acclaimed Naxos American Classics catalogue boasts a unique collection of both well-known and rarely recorded masterpieces. The landmark series of some 500 titles features a distinguished pool of works by the greatest American composers: from the romantic strains of Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Edward MacDowell to the visionary modernism of Charles Ives and John Cage, the buoyant spirits of John Philip Sousa and Scott Joplin, and the cutting-edge sounds of John Adams and Philip Glass.
Below you will find an introductory alphabetical sweep of the American Classics collection. Alternatively, you can consult the complete catalogue here.
Louis Moreau Gottschalk was the first important American composer to fuse European classical piano music with American cultural influences, including folk music, the music of slaves, and Latin American dances. Although still revered for his anticipation of elements of Ragtime and Harlem Stride Piano, he owed his greatest musical debt to Chopin. On this recording we hear memorable and catchy tunes as well as considerable harmonic ingenuity. It includes some of his finest pieces, such as the deliciously Gallic Pasquinade, the wonderfully expressive Le Banjo and Steven Mayer’s solo piano arrangement of La Nuit des Tropiques.
“Soprano Regina Zona turns in splendid performances in all songs. The sound reproduction is excellent. For admirers of Jake Heggie and those interested in contemporary song, this disc is a must. Even more tradition-minded listeners will find much here to their liking.” - Classical Net