One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this from
John Philip SOUSA (1854–1932)
Music for Wind Band - Volume 13
Occidental March (1887) [2:55]
Mother Goose March (1883) [2:16]
Katherine – Operetta Overture (1879)* [7:28]
Chris and the Wonderful Lamp – Operetta, Act II: Mama and Papa (1899)* [2:21]
President Garfield’s Inaugural March (1881) [5:58]
President Garfield’s Funeral March ‘In Memoriam’ (1881) [3:30]
Resumption March (1879) [3:01]
Gallagher and Shean – Humoresque (1923)* [5:17]
Paroles D’Amour – Waltzes (1880)* [8:41]
Camera Studies – Suite [11:21]
While Navy Ships are Coaling* [5:16]
White Plume March [2:18]
The Central Band of the RAF/Keith Brion
rec. RAF Northolt, London, 24-29 February 2012. DDD
* world première recordings
NAXOS 8.559729 [60:22]

John Philip Sousa was and remains the legendary composer of music for military band. Only his British counterpart, Kenneth Alford, came close to challenging him. There’s a great deal of his music – as well as this thirteenth volume in the Naxos series I have been listening to its successor, on 8.559730, from the Naxos Music Library – and it’s all well worth hearing. When James Garfield was inaugurated as President in 1881, Sousa was so well established that he was the natural choice to compose the march for that occasion (Volume 13, track 5) and, poignantly, he composed the commemoration march for the funeral four months later (track 6).
 
The classic Sousa recordings were made by the Eastman Rochester Wind Ensemble under the command of Frederick Fennell. Several of their interpretations remain available on Mercury, albeit mostly immured in a 55-CD box – 4785092 – and as downloads from Beulah at eavb.co.uk. I have reviewed several of those Beulah reissues in various editions of Download Roundup/Download News. They remain highly recommendable and can be purchased separately, but five of the items on the Naxos Volume 13 and two on Volume 14 were not recorded by Fennell or anyone else, though all contain the authentic Sousa spirit. As well as marches, both volumes also offer music of other kinds, equally appealing.
 
There are none of the great favourites here: Liberty Bell is on Volume 6: 8.559132, The Thunderer on Volume 5, 8.559131, Washington Post on Volume 8, 8.559248, and Stars and Stripes on Volume 4, 8.559093, and all four feature on a 2-CD anthology from the series, 8.572651/2, but don’t let that deter you from Volumes 13 and 14. The attraction of having the less well known works is that you may have already followed me in snapping up the four marches that I have named in the Fennell recordings from Beulah: 2PD82 with other American Wind Band Classics, from iTunes, 29BX182, 30BX182 and 33BX182 respectively.
 
Rob Barnett gave his approval to Volume 12, recorded with the Royal Swedish Navy Band – review – as did John Sheppard – review. Though Sousa was as proudly American as they come – there is even a story that his immigrant father chose a name that ended with USA, but that’s probably an urban myth – the Swedish performances are fully idiomatic and the Central Band of the RAF also do him proud on both the volumes that I have heard.
 
Staunchly patriotic as he was, Sousa was also interested in establishing international relations, as in the famous Hands across the Sea. I was particularly interested in the medley of national tunes on track 12 of Volume 14: The International Congress, here arranged by Keith Brion for wind band.
 
The recordings, obviously more modern than the Fennell series, good as those are for their age, do full justice to the music and performances and there are detailed notes by Keith Brion – also available to subscribers to Naxos Music Library if you choose to listen there.
 
An index of reviews of earlier volumes in the series on MusicWeb International can be found here. I intend to explore more of the series, so readily on tap as it is from Naxos Music Library.
 
Brian Wilson
 
Reviews of the Sousa series on Naxos