We’re about to enter the time of year when we want to listen to American music. Memorial Day is nearly here – shall we listen to some Copland? Then comes Independence Day – time for some rousing Sousa marches? And then on to Labor Day – how about some thoughtful Barber or Virgil Thompson?
But with our summer patriotic observations coming up soon, we would like to suggest something new and different. It’s “An American Rhapsody,” a release from Pentatone. It offers a selection of American music, played by the Calefax Reed Quintet. You can listen to music you already know, but also take a musical excursion into vistas of American music you have not encountered before.
And remember that if you are a member of Classical Archives, you can listen to this entire album right now.
What will you find on it? Original compositions and arrangements for winds of works that include . . .
- Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”
- “Southland Sketches” by Harry Thacker Burleigh
- “4 Excursions” by Samuel Barber
- Two movements from Florence Price’s “Piano Sonata”
- “God Bless the Child” by Billie Holiday
- “Satin Doll” by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn
- “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington
- “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder
- “Airports” by Kinan Azmeh
- “New Amsterdam” by Moondog (keep your ears open . . . there is a singer on this track too)
We predict that if you stream this CD once, it will become part of your regular listening for the summer, for national holidays . . . for anytime you want to listen to something exceptionally good.