The Heritage of John Philip Sousa: Volume 4
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 Four: Surely fewer works have ever been conceived with nobler emotions than the marches of John Philip Sousa. It is difficult to imagine any composer, of any era, expressing his love of country in a more profound manner.
A look at Sousa's titles tells the story. That priceless expression of patriotism, "The Stars and Stripes Forever," for example. He endeavored to write music, which would make his countrymen stand erect and proudly call themselves Americans. A patriotic thought would bring tears to his eyes and inspire him on to efforts, which are now a part of our musical heritage.
Sousa came along at precisely the right moment in history; he was a product of an era in which America was becoming a world power. His fiery and contagious patriotism sprang from the city of his birth, where he witnessed a nation growing up.
At the age of thirteen, he enlisted as an apprentice in the U.S. Marine Band and served until manhood. Later, he was appointed leader and held this position for another twelve years. Twice, in times of crisis, he attempted to join the Army. Then, at the age of sixty-two, he joined the Navy to supervise the music program at Great Lakes. His salary during his World War I service was a whopping one-dollar per month. Many still recall the thrill of seeing the white-bearded Sousa, sword in hand, marching at the head of his "Jackie" band in Liberty Loan and Red Cross parades. In all, he served almost a score of years in military service.
At Sousa's death, a volume of editorials appeared which would have done justice to the greatest of national heroes. One in particular pretty well summed it up by calling him our "Pied Piper of Patriotism."
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.