Get This: American Symphonies


Another excellent value collected from RCA’s vaults, and a box that I consider essential for a classical music library. This gathers together the important recordings of music by American composers that Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony made in the 1990s.

The contents speak for themselves—there are things like Ives’ and Copland’s Symphony No. 3s, but Copland is expanded through great works like the Short Symphony, the Dance Symphony, the Orchestral Variations and some fine soundtracks, and there are leading interpretations of William Schuman, Walter Piston, and others.

At the time these albums were being released individually, they made a statement about the stature of American music. More than just arguments, these are fine albums through and through, and only $23 for 13 CDs!.


I'm a composer and musician, and I write about music—I do that here, for the New York Classical Review, at the Brooklyn Rail (I edit the music section there) and any place else that will have me, like New Music Box and Music & Literature. I also wrote the Miles Davis' Bitches Brew book in the 33 1/3 series.