KlassikNet: 101 Best Classical CDs
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101 Best Classical Music CDs:
Twentieth Century in the Americas

COPLAND (1900-1990): Appalachian Spring
BARBER (1910-1981): Adagio for Strings
GERSHWIN (1898-1937): Rhapsody in Blue

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein, conductor
Deutsche Grammophon

Gershwin, Copland, Barber: the Holy Trinity of North American music! Leonard Bernstein and his Californians have definitively settled the issue.

VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959): Bachianas Brasileiras no 1, 2, 5 + 9
Victoria de los Angeles, soprano
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française
Heitor Villa-Lobos, conductor

Brazilian Heitor Villa-Lobos is the only Latin American composer to have earned a place in mainstream repertoire. His music sometimes suggests the generous, luxuriant vegetation of the Amazonian Jungle. The Bachianas Brasileiras are a series of Brazilian homages to Bach. Villa-Lobos made these recordings in Paris shortly before his death. They have since toured the globe.

GLASS (1937-): Façades - Company
REICH (1936-): Eight Lines
ADAMS (1947-): Shaker Loops
HEATH (1956-): The Frontier

London Chamber Orchestra
Virgin Classics 5611212

The minimalist school, led by American composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass, welcome tonality and popular culture in their composition. This places their works in total opposition to the highly complex, often mathematical-based systems, known as comtemporary music since the '50s, and which meets with ever-dwindling public appeal. The minimalists are determined to fill the concert halls once more. Ardent partisans of both trends are locked in fierce debate with some crying "miracle!", whilst others cry "imposture!" This excellent recording will let you judge for yourself.

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