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Ira Novoselsky
BandWorld, May 2008

Strike Up the Band! is a fascinating collection of marches that will delight the listener. In addition to several traditional marches, some rarities are featured along with some familiar orchestral marches in most interesting transcriptions. With so many settings of the title work to chose from, the Warren Barker adaptation of Strike Up the Band adds a fresh touch to this recording. Another unexpected surprise is Herbert’s March of the Toys as viewed by Sammy Nestico, certainly a new wrinkle on an old favorite. Don’t pass up this disc as just another march recording; there is so much to savor in this collection.

American Record Guide, October 2006

An enjoyable program of 21 marches from many lands. Old favorites include Julius Fucik’s ‘Florentiner’ and ‘Entry of the Gladiators’, Carl Teike’s ‘Old Comrades’, JF Wagner’s ‘Under the Double Eagle’, Alford’s ‘Colonel Bogey’, Zimmermann’s ‘Anchors Aweigh’, and Sousa’s ‘Liberty Bell’. This account of Johannes Hanssen’s ‘Valdres’ has a lovely trumpet solo and little details I’ve never noticed before. Familiar pieces from the 19th Century are Schubert’s ‘Marche Militaire 1’ and Gounod’s ‘Funeral March of a Marionette’. One of the more stirring marches (with a beautiful moment of chamber music at 0:41) is ‘Prussia’s Glory’, by JF Piefke. Gershwin’s ‘Strike Up the Band’ and Herbert’s ‘March of the Toys’ are bright and full of personality. And then there are a slew of unfamiliar ones, including Schrammel’s ‘Vienna Will Always Be Vienna’, Noack’s ‘Brownies Guard Parade’, and Ganne’s ‘Marche Lorraine’.

The Royal Swedish Air Force Band is a fine outfit with excellent blend and dynamic range. Conductor Johansson’s tempos are sometimes fast, as in ‘Liberty Bell’, but I like the fact that these marches go at different speeds.

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