Be Glad Then, America
While the collection of music on this recording was composed during only the last hundred years, it draws from sources and traditions that span from the American Revolution to the present, celebrating the New World’s musical vernacular with spirituals, fiddle tunes, cowboy ballads, and rags. “Be Glad Then, America” takes its title from William Schuman’s New England Triptych, which used as its point of departure the religious choral writing of William Billings, one of the grandfathers of American music. Two other repertoire pillars fill out the album, Persichetti’s Psalm for Band and Bennett’s Symphonic Songs. Complementing these classic works are three world première recordings: the exuberant “For ‘The President’s Own’” by John Williams, a set of selected Charles Ives songs arranged for the President’s Own, and a transcription of the glorious final movement of Aaron Copland’s Third Symphony, which restores music cut from the Symphony soon after its early orchestral performances.