Music: The Unsung Melodists

Not many art buffs recall Charles Willson Peale's oil painting, Exhuming the F irst American Mastodon (1806-08), nor do many readers know Royall Tyler's novel. The Algerine Captive: or, The Life and Adventures of Dr. Updike Underhill (1797). Much American music of that period is equally obscure, but equally evocative in its titles and equally appealing to the imagination if given half a chance. Manhattan's Society for the Preservation of the American Musical Heritage is providing that chance in a series of 20 recordings, giving voice to some 25 little-known U.S. composers. As interpreted...

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