"This SACD with compositions by Louis Moreau Gottschalk, George Gershwin, Samuel Barber, Frederic Rzewski and Philip Glass presents a cross-section of North American piano music from 1850 to 1980. It offers the listener the possibility to become immersed in a fascinating musical cosmos which is, above all, notable for its stylistic variety. This is characteristic of American music‘s search for its identity from the very beginning of its history: a lack of historical references is replaced by a plethora of ethnic-social phenomena and the principle of permanent cultural exchange. Gottschalk became an early pioneer of the „crossover“ and Gershwin merged jazz and art music to form a unique entity. With his monumental Piano Sonata and the Nocturne, Samuel Barber delivered brilliant examples of a tonally and formally conservative yet powerful and compellingly individual language. In contrast, Philip Glass and Frederic Rzewski represent contemporary positions, with the extremes of minimalism and avant-gardism, of an advanced American modernism that nonetheless continues to aim towards general comprehensibility."