The Heritage of John Philip Sousa: Volume 6
Altissimo! Recordings is proud to present the Robert Hoe Heritage of the March Collection. It remains the largest single march music record series in history, featuring almost 3,000 different marches! This series has been highly sought by music collectors everywhere, and now for the first time ever, you can own these rare marches from the one and only March King, presented as 2-disc volumes digitally mastered for optimal sound quality and faithfully reproduced. These are digitally re-mastered from vinyl, and were originally recorded between 1974 and 1976.
Volume Six: Sousa - The Gentleman
The accomplishments of John Philip Sousa in many diverse fields seem incredible. One might well imagine that he raced from one conquest to another, with no time for pleasurable pursuits of to devote to his family.
Quite the opposite was true, however. Sousa was a supremely happy man whose family gave him the greatest joy. The Sousa Band was often inactive for periods of several months, thus affording him time to spend with his wife and three children and time to pour over the thousands of rare books in his personal library.
A man of considerable self discipline, he excelled in nearly every undertaking. He was one of the America's top trapshooters; an excellent horseman; a capable boxer; a baseball pitcher; an all around sports enthusiast. From his childhood days he was determined, possessing an unbounded optimism, and nothing seemed impossible to him.
If one were to apply one word to describe Sousa's temperament, it would suffice to say he was a gentleman. He was assuming, approachable, tolerant and almost saintly in disposition, maintaining the highest moral standards and integrity. Foremost in his mind at all times, however, were thoughts of how best to please his public. And those missing his sparkling sense of humor through personal contact were sure to sense it in his comic operas or witty songs.
Typical of many elegant eulogies of our "March King" was this touching tribute, made by his friend and colleague Victor Grabel: "After John Philip Sousa, there is no other. Bandmaster pre-eminent; composer of unrivaled popularity; sterling patriot; ardent sportsman; accomplished storyteller; gentleman supreme, tho honored by presidents and kings, and decorated by many foreign governments, he remained the simplest and most kindly of men."
Paul Bierley, the world's foremost authority on, and biographer of, John Philip Sousa, wrote the above essay. A similar essay will appear on each of the volumes in this series.