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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.

Recent additions to the American Classics series

Naxos 8.559693
GOTTSCHALK, L.M.: Piano Music - A Night in the Tropics
Mayer, Steven

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.

Listen to an extract from
The Last Hope, Op. 16

  Listen to Rick Phillips' podcast about this release

An A-Z of American Classics

John Adams
Nixon in China

“Naxos’ Nixon really
is one for our times.”
- Classic FM

Leonard Bernstein

“We finally have a worthy successor to Bernstein’s own recording.”
- Gramophone

Elliott Carter
100th Anniversary Release

“This is a fantastic product, with world class recordings of
Carter’s music.”
- MusicWeb International

Michael Daugherty
Philadelphia Stories/UFO

“If 20th-century American music currently has a better friend than Naxos I can't think who it is.”
- Gramophone

Duke Ellington
Includes Black, Brown
and Beige

“Give us another disc like this!”
- Fanfare

Morton Feldman
String Quartet

“Its appearance now in budget-priced Naxos is a godsend to venturesome ears and spirits.”
- The Buffalo News

Philip Glass
Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3

“Magnetically performed and brilliantly recorded.”
- Penguin Guide

Jake Heggie
Connection: Three Song Cycles

“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

Charles Ives
String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2

“Collectors really need
look no further.”
- MusicWeb International

Scott Joplin
Piano Rags Vol. 2

“A winning compilation, sympathetically played.”
- MusicWeb International

Earl Kim
Violin Concerto/

“I cannot recommend it too highly.”
- Fanfare

Morten Lauridsen
Choral works

“Highly recommended.”

Cindy McTee
Orchestral works

“A cascade of diverting activity…that Slatkin and the Detroit musicians fill to the sonic brim.”
- Gramophone

Conlon Nancarrow
Chamber music

“Here's another
essential entry in Naxos' valuable American Classics series.”
- Chicago Tribune

Leo Ornstein
Piano Sonatas Nos. 4 and 7

“Fascinating music, superlative pianism, excellent sound, and low price: need we say more?"

Vincent Persichetti
Violin and piano works

“These are fine interpretations and well-crafted performances.”
- MusicWeb International

George Rochberg
Symphony No. 1

“This is an amazingly
assured, mature, personal,
and daring work.”
- Classical Net

Joseph Schwantner
Sparrows/Music of Amber

“Board-sweepingly excellent.”
- BBC Music Magazine

Art Tatum

“One hopes there will be
many more CDs like this one.”

Eric Whitacre
Choral music

“This stimulating and superb disc is a bargain and an absolute “must have”.”
- Gramophone

Ronn Yedidia
Chamber works

“A very fine disc indeed.”
- MusicWeb International

Judith Lang Zaimont
Includes Symphony No. 2

“This well-recorded CD
rewards repeated listening.”
- Fanfare

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Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group