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SOUSA: Music for Wind Band, Vol. 5 (Keith Brion/ Mike Purton/ Royal Artillery Band) (Naxos American Classics: 8.559131)


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John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)

Works for Wind Band, Volume 5


John Philip Sousa personified turn-of-the-century America,the comparative innocence and brash energy of a still new nation. His evertouring band represented America across the globe and brought music to hundredsof American towns. John Philip Sousa, born on 6th November, 1854, reached thisexalted position with startling quickness. In 1880, at the age of 26, he becameconductor of the U.S. Marine Band. In twelve years the vastly improved ensemblewon high renown and Sousa's compositions earned him the title of \The MarchKing." Sousa went one better with the formation of his own band in 1892,bringing world acclaim.


In its first seven years the band gave 3500 concerts; in anera of train and ship travel it logged over a million miles in nearly four decades.There were European tours in 1900, 1901, 1903 and 1905, and a world tour in

1910-11, the zenith of the band era.


The unprecedented popularity of the Sousa Band came at atime when few American orchestras existed. From the Civil War to about 1920, bandconcerts were the most important aspect of American musical life. No finer bandthan Sousa's was ever heard. Sousa modified the brass band by decreasing thebrass and percussion instruments, increasing its woodwinds, and adding a harp.Sousa's conducting genius attracted the finest musicians, enabling him to buildan ensemble capable of executing programmes almost as varied as those of asymphony orchestra. The Sousa Band became the standard by which American bandswere measured, causing a dramatic upgrading in quality nationally.


Sousa's compositions also spread his fame. Such marches asThe Stars and Stripes Forever, El Capitan, Washington Post, and Semper Fidelisare universally acknowledged as the best of the genre. Sousa said a march"should make a man with a wooden leg step out," and his surely did. Although hestandardised the march form as it is known today, he was no mere maker ofmarches, but an exceptionally inventive composer of over two hundred works,including symphonic poems, suites, operas and operettas. His principles ofinstrumentation and tonal colour influenced many classical composers. Hisrobust, patriotic operettas of the 1890s helped introduce a truly nativemusical attitude in American theatre. The library of Sousa's Band containedover 10,000 titles. Among them are the numerous band compositions of Sousaincluding the marches and numerous other compositions. The present series seeksto record them for the world to hear. This fifth volume of Sousa's music forwind band is being released in honour of the sesquicentennial of Sousa's birth(1854-2004).


[1] The Minnesota March (1927)

Minnesota was composed at the request of the University ofMinnesota football coach and the alumni. The march is still performed today,and is a popular addition to university sporting events.


[2] The Thunderer (1889)

The Thunderer was a nickname for a person whose actualidentity may never be known. This gentleman was most likely a Washington, DCMasonic friend of Sousa's. The march itself has become one of Sousa's mostpopular and enduring compositions.


[3] The Charlatan Waltzes (1898)

The operetta The Charlatan was perhaps Sousa's second mostpopular after El Capitan. It opened in Montreal and enjoyed successful runs inNew York and in London, where it was known as The Mystical Miss. The plot is aclassic operetta story of misplaced royal identities. The title The Charlatanrefers to a magician who works his mysterious way through the complex plot.Sousa often fashioned the hit love songs from his shows into waltz medleys inthe style of Strauss waltzes. These are no exception.


[4] The Pride of the Wolverines (1926)

Dedicated by Sousa to the City of Detroit, the march Prideof the Wolverines was later declared the official march of that city. It is oneof Sousa's most vigorous and inventive works in the march idiom.


[5] University of Nebraska (1928)

The University of Nebraska march was dedicated to thefaculty and students. It has a lightness, lilt and verve that make it veryspecial among Sousa's numerous 'college' marches.


[6] The Gallant Seventh (1922)

The Seventh Regiment of the New York National Guard foryears had one of the famous bands in the New York City area. Their conductor,Francis Sutherland had been one of Sousa's cornettists. The premi?¿re of themarch was performed on the stage of New York's great Hippodrome Theater(predecessor of today's Radio City Music Hall) with Sousa's Band flanked bySutherland's Seventh Regiment Band.


[7] Powhattan's Daughter (1907)

Saluting the legendary Pocahontas, daughter of ChiefPowhattan, the march was written for the Jamestown Virginia Exposition of 1907.The exposition marked the three-hundredth anniversary of the first Englishsettlement in America.


[8]-[10] Cubaland (1925)

During a 1924 vacation in Havana Sousa was inspired tocompose the colourful suite Cubaland. Each movement depicts the rule of Cubaunder different governments. In 1875 Spain, in 1898 the United States andfinally in 1925 Cuba. Each contains characteristic melodies of the rulingnation. Under the Spanish Flag contains references to such melodies as TheSpanish Constitution and Andalusian Dances, the American Flag written in quasipatrol form contains Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight and Swanee River andfinally the Cuban Flag includes the traditional Cuban song La Bayamesa.


[11] George Washington Bicentennial (1930)

Celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of GeorgeWashington's birth, the George Washington Bicentennial March was first playedat an impressive ceremony at the Capital Plaza in Washington, DC in February1932, just a month before Sousa's death. Sousa appeared to conduct the combinedbands of the United States Army, Navy and Marines.


[12] The Diplomat (1904)

One of Sousa's personal favourites, Diplomat was dedicatedto Secretary of State John Milton Hay. Sousa's composition portrays hisadmiration for Hay's elegant and ebullient diplomatic skills.


[13] The Directorate (1894)

The Directorate in this case were not band directors, butthe Board of Directors of the 1893 St Louis Exposition. The Sousa Bandperformed with great success at the exposition during the summer of 1893.During their last week there, Sousa was honoured with a special ceremony. Hecomposed this march to mark the occasion.


[14] Our Flirtation (1880)

The march Our Flirtation was part of Sousa's incidentalorchestral music to a musical comedy, Our Flirtations, which was produced inPhiladelphia in 1880. The march was later arranged and published for band.


[15] Sabre and Spurs (1918)

The World War I era saw a prolific outpouring of great Sousamarches to inspire the military. Among them, Sabre and Spurs, dedicated to the311th Cavalry is one of the finest. The trio depicts the hoof beats andmovements of the mounted horsemen.


[16] The Atlantic City Pageant (1927)

During Sousa's final years, beginning in 1926, the bandoften played summer engagements at Atlantic City's Steel Pier. The AtlanticCity Pageant March was written at the request of the city's mayor, and honouredthe famous Atlantic City Beauty Pageant.
Facts
Item number 8559131
Barcode 636943913123
Release date 23/07/2004
Category Orchestral | Classical Music
Label Naxos Records | Naxos American Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Performers
Composers John Philip Sousa
Conductors Keith Brion
Orchestras Royal Artillery Band
Producers Mike Purton
Disc: 1
The Minnesota March
1 The Minnesota March
The Thunderer
2 The Thunderer
The Charlatan Waltzes
3 The Charlatan Waltzes
The Pride of the Wolverines
4 The Pride of the Wolverines
University of Nebraska
5 University of Nebraska
The Gallant Seventh
6 The Gallant Seventh
Powhattan's Daughter
7 Powhattan's Daughter
Cubaland
8 Under the Spanish Flag
9 Under the American Flag
10 Under the Cuban Flag
George Washington Bicentennial
11 George Washington Bicentennial
The Diplomat
12 The Diplomat
The Directorate
13 The Directorate
Our Flirtation
14 Our Flirtation
Sabre and Spurs
15 Sabre and Spurs
The Atlantic City Pageant
16 The Atlantic City Pageant
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