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ClassicsOnline Home » PRESIDENT'S OWN UNITED STATES MARINE BAND: Sousa's Greatest Hits
Best Bang for your Band Buck
To paraphrase Lincoln, the Marine Band is the last, best hope for the world of marching bands. Their performance of these classic tunes is definitive. As a retro addition to your library, it is well worth $9.99.
The Marine Band plays some of these numbers at every performance. You will never hear a tighter, crispier, better tuned sound. The trumpet section is able to taper cadences (slight decrescendo) at the de rigour marching pace of 120 per minute--a formidable ensemble feat, as any old bandsman would know.
Stars and Stripes forever is the Marine Band's signature tune. The ensemble as assembled and present for this recording had, likely to a man, performed this number a thousand times in all kinds of weather, under all sorts of unforeseeable circumstances. Point, precision, impact and pace are as perfect as a live performance can be. The dashing piccolo obbligato to the ironic "web-footed friends" navy theme is superb. It will put a smile on the face of any bandsman who hears it.
Marine Hymn, Washington Post, and El Capitan are equally outstanding. The band strides through these 18 numbers like manifest destiny. Some of the more obscure pieces are only played in concert. They are given a concert interpretation. There are slight rubato and discernable tempo changes for effect. The concert interpretations are out of character for this group. The concert style does not tarnish the musicianship, but precision is the style the Marine Band does best.
This recording is an older, reprocessed analogue recording. For most purposes it is more than adequate. I use it on my iPod during workouts. At $9.98, it is half the price of more recent recordings. Whether you are striding to the beat, striving at your desk or sedentary in your chair, you will get a nostalgic thrill from this music. If, as the saying goes, "Military music is to music as military intelligence is to intelligence," then the country's collective IQ gets a boost from this fine recording.more....
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PRESIDENT'S OWN UNITED STATES MARINE BAND: Sousa's...