The wonderful Naxos American Classics series is full of surprises. After firmly associating Victor Herbert with memorable melodies based on banal lyrics, we now get Columbus Suite/ Irish Rhapsody played by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava) under Keith Brion. The opening "Auditorium Festival March" is pure Sousa out of Germany where Herbert learned his craft, while the "Irish Rhapsody" recalls the more familiar tunes from his land of birth. The third cut gives us a quarter hour of selections from his opera "Natoma," and very impressive they are. But the real surprise comes on cuts 4-7 where we hear, probably for the first time, his "Columbus Suite" in four movements: Dawn and Sunrise at Alhambra, At La Rabida, Murmurs of the Sea, and Triumph-the Vision of Columbus.
1) Auditorium Festival March
2) Irish Rhap
3) Natoma (Selections)
4) Columbus Ste: Dawn and Sunrise at Alhambra
5) Columbus Ste: At the Convent
6) Columbus Ste: Murmurs of the Sea
7) Columbus Ste: Triumph: The Vision of Columbus