The Heritage of John Philip Sousa: Volume 5
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 Five: Sousa - The Entertainer
People on both sides of the globe flocked to see the man called "March King" conduct his own marches, and to marvel at the great Sousa Band. He employed a principle that endeared him to audiences everywhere: everything was played to perfection, be it a masterpiece or a common street melody. By this process he did more to diminish musical snobbery than any other conductor of his time. A king of marches he was indeed; but first and foremost he was a master entertainer. Few entertainers ever appeared personally before more people.
Sousa professed two missions in life. The first was to entertain. The second was to act as a channel for melodies which he said came from a "Higher Power." This series of records as played by the peerless band he once led, demonstrates that he was eminently successful in both endeavors.
At the turn of the century, John Philip Sousa was the most widely known musician in the world. He was the leader of the most famous of all touring concert organizations and the grass roots composer whose music was known by practically every civilized person. Marches were the vogue at the time, and if there had been a "hit parade," several of Sousa's marches would have led the list for years on end.
Sousa was an avowed progressive. His formula for success, however, was very simply: variety. He programmed classics liberally, but at the same time he kept audiences abreast with trends in popular music. He consistently engaged famous vocalists and instrumental soloists. And, he always added a subtle touch of humor. Make no mistake that a Sousa Band concert was also an exciting lesson in 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.