The Heritage of John Philip Sousa: Volume 1
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 One: The legacy of the man called "March King" is so broad in character that one might wonder if indeed he was not one person but several; composer, conductor, arranger, patriot, diplomat, sportsman, salesman of Americanism, and one of only ninety-nine persons ever elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.
As a composer, Sousa left the world a treasury of stirring melodies and happy memories. One of the most widely known performers in the history of show business, he personally took great music of all types to remote corners of the globe, creating international goodwill and announcing to the world that his beloved country was coming of age culturally. His influence on America's musical tastes was truly incredible, but his influence was also felt abroad.
Naturally, Sousa has always been the ideal of band music lovers. He contributed more to the betterment of bands than any other person. He also had no small impact on the recording industry and is still the most often recorded band. Sousa first brought the US Marine Band into prominence. Then with his own organization, he played to standing-room-only audiences for nearly four decades. A veritable army of his former musicians then carried on his tradition.
Many forms of music flowed from Sousa's pen. Lest we forget, he was one of the pioneers of the American operetta. His forgotten period pieces, songs, suites, waltzes, and others, are being rediscovered one by one. He was also an author, writing several books and dozens of lesser literary pieces, John Philip Sousa achieved immortality not because he was the musical spokesman of a new nation, portraying its unfailing optimism with his inspired melodies. He was truly the symbol of a confident and proud era in American history.
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.