Category: Ledes

Soundtracks: June 1999

Last month, when we launched NewMusicBox we featured information about 56 new CDs of American music issued since January 1999. For our second issue, we feature yet another 40! The year is not yet half over and already there are almost 100 new recordings of American music floating around. And the range this month is equally staggering in its diversity.

Two recordings of music by Aaron Kernis — a disc of new orchestral works and the world premiere recording of his 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning string quartet which was previewed with an exclusive sound sample in our News section last month. Trumpet masters Dave Douglas and Wadada Leo Smith join the trio What We Live for a remarkable quintet session and Fred Hersch’s intimate solo piano stylistics are finally captured in a live recording. John Corigliano’s long-awaited film score for The Red Violin is out as well as the first-ever disc of the complete solo piano music of Miklos Rozsa, known mostly for his epic film scores. There’s a disc featuring music by 18 forgotten women ragtime composers and another featuring Dave Brubeck’s famous “Blue Rondo a la Turk” transcribed for harpsichord. There has also been a plethora of re-issues of rare historic recordings including Samuel Barber singing his own celebrated Dover Beach, Vladimir Ussachevsky‘s earliest electronic experiments, and a one-act opera by Carlisle Floyd. New opera, and a variety of distinctly American vernacular off-shoots, is in abundance this month with works ranging from Fred Ho’s fascinating Warrior Sisters and the mysterious F. Di Arta-Angeli’s unrepentently romantic Frossini to Adam Guettel’s musical revue Myths and Hymns and the CIVIL warS, Philip Glass’s other collaboration with Robert Wilson.

Most of these new recordings are only a click away from being purchased on, making them easier to listen to than ever before.