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Sousa: Music for Wind Band Vol 13 / Brion

Sousa / Central Band Of The Royal Air Force
Release Date: 01/28/2014 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559729   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SOUSA The Occidental. Mother Goose. Katherine: Overture. Chris and the Wonderful Lamp: Mamma, Papa. President Garfield’s Inaugural March. President Garfield’s Funeral March, “In Memoriam.” Resumption March. Gallagher and Shean: Humoresque. Paroles d’amour. Camera Studies. While Navy Ships are Coaling. The White Plume Keith Brion, cond; Central Band of the RAF Read more class="ARIAL12"> NAXOS 8.559729 (60: 22)


We are at number 13 of the projected 16 volumes of John Philip Sousa’s complete music for wind band conducted by Sousa expert Keith Brion. Fanfare hasn’t published a review of a disc from this series since Lynn René Bayley savaged volume 10 in 35:5. In the intervening two years, Brion moved from the Royal Norwegian Navy Band (which I like much better than Bayley does), to its excellent Swedish counterpart, and back to the United Kingdom. Rather than the Royal Artillery Band, which recorded the first eight volumes, this program is performed by The Central Band of the RAF, one of the UK’s most prestigious bands, and one of its most experienced in the recording studio. It was, in 1989, the first band outside the USA to be awarded the Howard Citation for Musical Excellence from the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The playing is alert, generally accurate (though intonation is not infallible) and, most importantly, responsive to the historic Sousa band style which Brion has promoted with his own New Sousa Band, as well as in this series. This style includes more relaxed tempos than are now fashionable, as well as a more reed-dominated texture in a smaller ensemble than is typical of a modern American concert band. The RAF band appears to number a little over 30 players. Big brass and percussion perorations are saved for climaxes and occasional punctuation. (For more on style, see Brion’s article on the New Sousa Band web site: newsousaband.com/articles_nsb.html.)


As before, the program includes not only marches, but also non-march works from throughout Sousa’s long career. There is an overture from his first operetta, Katherine , written when he was 25, and a wind arrangement of a patter song from his Aladdin operetta, Chris and the Wonderful Lamp , written 20 years later. Works of political/historic significance include both the inaugural and funeral marches written for President Garfield and played, tragically, little more than six months apart. White Plume March is a reworking of We’ll Follow Where the White Plume Waves , a campaign song Sousa wrote for unsuccessful presidential candidate James G. Blaine in 1884. The melody ensconced here far transcends its original ephemeral purpose. Musical forms familiar from earlier releases include a humoresque, this one, from 1923, using tunes associated with the famous comedy duo Gallagher and Shean; a set of waltzes in the Strauss style dating from 1880, Sousa’s first year as director of the Marine Band; and Camera Studies , a 1920 suite of picturesque snapshots of Spanish beauty, romantic love, and the innocence of a children’s ball. Recalling his time in the Navy, While Navy Ships are Coaling is a potpourri of sea shanties. Other marches, less well known but still showing the composer’s indefatigable inventiveness, complete the program.


The editions for these recordings are, as usual, primarily by Keith Brion, or by Loras Schissel, curator of the Sousa Collection of the Library of Congress. President Garfield’s Inaugural March is an interesting exception. Discovered by Richard Franko Goodman in 1975, it was arranged for large concert band by Dorothy Klotzman of Brooklyn College and published by J. C. Penney Company as part of a collection of sheet music donated to every high school, university, and college in the United States in 1976. If you wonder, as I did, when Penney’s got into the music publishing business, now you know. It sounds as if maestro Brion did his usual historically informed trimming to match the original Sousa band instrumentation and balance.


The sound is a little more opaque and resonant than the last few volumes have been, which is regrettable, though the engineering in no way detracts from the music-making. The presentation is the same as with previous volumes, with Brion’s four-paragraph introduction to Sousa and his music as used in each volume, and short but informative notes on each of the pieces. Far from being a “waste” of CDs, this series is every wind band lover’s dream, more interesting with each new discovery, and volume 13 is recommended as a worthy addition.


FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames
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Works on This Recording

1.
White Plume by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884; USA 
2.
The Occidental by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; USA 
3.
Resumption March by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; USA 
4.
President Garfield Inaugural March by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; USA 
5.
Mother Goose by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; USA 
6.
Katherine: Overture by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; USA 
7.
Chris and the Wonderful Lamp: Mamma, Papa by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; USA 
8.
In Memorian "Garfield's Funeral March" by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
9.
Gallagher and Shean by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1923; USA 
10.
Paroles d'amour by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; USA 
11.
Camera Studies by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1920; USA 
12.
While Navy Ships are Coaling by John Philip Sousa
Conductor:  Keith Brion
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Central Band of the Royal Air Force
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1923; USA 

Sound Samples

The Occidental (arr. K. Brion for wind band)
Mother Goose (arr. K. Brion for wind band)
Katherine (arr. K. Brion for wind band): Katherine: Overture (arr. K. Brion for wind band)
Chris and the Wonderful Lamp (arr. K. Brion for wind band): Chris and the Wonderful Lamp, Act II: Mamma, Papa (arr. K. Brion for wind band)
President Garfield's Inaugural March (arr. D. Klotzman for wind band)
President Garfield's Funeral March (arr. K. Brion for wind band)
Resumption March (arr. K. Brion for wind band)
Gallagher and Shean (arr. L. Schissel for wind band)
Paroles d'amour (arr. K. Brion for wind band)
Camera Studies (arr. K. Brion for wind band): I. The Flashing Eyes of Andalusia
Camera Studies (arr. K. Brion for wind band): II. Drifting to Loveland
Camera Studies (arr. K. Brion for wind band): III. The Children's Ball
While Navy Ships are Coaling (arr. K. Brion for wind band)
The White Plume (arr. L. Schissel for wind band)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Excellent April 22, 2014 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "Volume 13 in Naxos' excellent and on-going exploitation of John Philip Sousa's music continues the high standards exhibited in all 12 previous issues. Featured here is the outstanding Central Band of the Royal Air Force, an ensemble that might well be mistaken for the U.S. Marine Corps Band in concert- they are that good. The program is eclectic, with waltzes, operetta excerpts (Sousa composed several), and several marches to remind us of Sousa's core compositional genre. The recording establishes the ambience of a military band in concert in an auditorium or concert hall, not outside on parade. Naxos' sonic qualities are fine, as usual, and the end result is a recording of high energy, enthusiasm, and superb musicianship. Fans of band music should not hesitate to try this very fine recording. Recommended." Report Abuse
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