V 6: Music for Wind Band
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Easter Monday On The White House Lawn|
|2. The Golden Star|
|3. The Dauntless Battalion|
|4. Sextet From The Bride Elect|
|5. The Federal March/Three Quotations|
|6. I:The King Of France (With Twenty Thousand Men Marched Up The Hill And Then Marched Down Again)|
|7. II: I,Too,Was Born In Arcadia|
|8. III: In Darkest Africa|
|9. The Liberty Bell|
|10. The Gridiron Club|
|11. La Reine De La Mer|
|12. The Chariot Race|
|13. The Gladiator|
|14. New Mexico March|
|15. The Picador March|
John Philip Sousa, known affectionately as "The March King", personified turn-of-the-century America, the comparative innocence and brash energy of a still new nation. His ever-touring band represented America across the globe and
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I have acquired the previous five volumes of this series, and have found each of them to be excellent in terms of musicianship and sound quality. And this, the sixth volume of the series, continues to maintain the standard established by the earlier volumes.
The present release includes eight marches (including one memorial march), four miscellaneous wind works, one suite and one set of waltzes. The one piece that will be familiar to most listeners will be the 'Liberty Bell', which receives a fine performance here. But to return my first 'secret' I think most listeners will find the remaining seven marches to be equally entertaining. A couple of my personal favorites include 'The Picador' and the 'Dauntless Battalion'. Influenced by the spectacle of a bullfight, 'The Picador' incorporates elements of Spanish music, while the 'Dauntless Battalion' contains an especially delightful trio section with the main melody carried by the euphoniums and glockenspiel, and concludes with this melody soaring over a double countermelody (similar to 'Stars and Stripes Forever').
And returning to my second 'secret', I think most listeners will also enjoy the set of waltzes included here ('Le Reine de la Mer') as well as the ragtime piece, `Easter Sunday on the White House Lawn'. Another interesting selection is 'The Chariot Race', which is a fanciful depiction of a Roman chariot race, with the percussion used to depict the sound galloping horses and the crack of the charioteers' whips.
So in conclusion, this release is a tremendous amount fun. But this ongoing series is also incredibly important, as this project represents the only attempt, of which I am aware, to record all of the band compositions of Sousa, one of America's greatest composers (just over 50 of Sousa's 136 marches have been recorded under this series so far).
Looking forward to Volume Seven!
The contents of the CD is really a miscellany, with music from one of Sousa's operettas (the sextet from 'The Bride Elect', 1897), a march for the graduation of cadets from the Pennsylvania Military Academy ('Dauntless Battalion', 1922), and a suite for band called 'Three Quotations' (1895), containing a satirical march set to the couplet 'The King of France with twenty thousand men marched up the hill and then marched down again', and whose final movement, 'In Darkest Africa' incorporates jazzy syncopations and melodic contours presumably typical of native African music. 'The Federal', 1910, was written for the band's tour of Australasia and one hears the measured Elgarian tread of British marches.
Easily the most familiar work played here is 'The Liberty Bell', widely known and frequently played long before its use as the theme song for 'Monty Python's Flying Circus.' One actually wishes this piece wasn't so identified with that comic series because it is one of Sousa's best marches but it will be associated, for the foreseeable future at least, with that comedy when in fact it is a stirring military march. The performance here is excellent; and one can actually hear the 'bell' as called for in Sousa's score.
One of Sousa's most elegant works is his 1886 'La Reine de la Mer', a set of waltzes which puts woodwinds in the foreground and actually sounds more French than American, something Sousa clearly intended. A world away is Sousa's exciting 'The Chariot Race', inspired by that famous scene in Lew Wallace's novel of Roman times, 'Quo Vadis'.
Finally we have 'The Gladiator' (1886), 'The Picador' (1889), and 'New Mexico' (1928), the latter two mixing in Spanish rhythms and melodies.
This is a fine addition to the series and one I would recommend without hesitation.
Keep 'em coming, Keith!