This month sees the release of Volume 14 in the Naxos series devoted to the output of John Philip Sousa, the 'March King' and one of the greatest figures in American musical history. Perhaps not so well known is the fact that Sousa had an equally strong affinity for musical theatre, exemplified by this latest volume's inclusion of a suite comprising music from three of his remarkably successful operettas.
Sousa's unprecedented popularity was garnered through constant national and international touring with a band that included some of the very best American instrumentalists. This is mirrored by the several outstanding bands used throughout the recordings in this series, each directed by Keith Brion, who founded the New Sousa Band in 1979 and is recognised as the world’s leading Sousa conductor.
The unprecedented popularity enjoyed by John Philip Sousa was garnered through constant national and international touring with a band that included some of the very best American instrumentalists. Volume 14 of this series includes brilliant show overtures, such as The GlassBlowers, theatrical marches such as The Lambs, the suite El Capitan andHis Friends, from three of Sousa’s remarkably successful operettas and, last but not least, the 22-year-old composer’s extraordinary collection of patriotic songs of many countries, The International Congress, which ends with The Star Spangled Banner set against the violin obbligato from Wagner’s Tannhauser.
Listen to an extract from Esprit de Corps March
About the Artist
Keith Brion leads his own New Sousa Band and is a frequent conductor of light music orchestral concerts throughout America and internationally. He is a specialist in Sousa’s period style and has published numerous performing editions of his music.