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James M. Keller
The New Yorker, May 2000

"Such genres as the tango, the polonaise, the waltz, and the galop enliven On the Wings of Lightening, in which the noted Sousa specialist Keith Brion leads the Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra (a polished Slovak group with strings at its core) in performances that recall the rich-toned glitter of old Vienna."

David Vernier, November 1999

This recording, featuring an unlikely but very impressive Slovakian ensemble, doesn’t have the big name works, but does contain Sousa’s first million-selling piece, The Gladiator march (1886), along with some interesting waltzes (Sandalphon Waltzes) and several of his best-loved non-march pieces: The Coquette (caprice); The Gliding Girl (tango); On Wings of Lightning (gallop); and The Presidential Polonaise. Sousa expert Keith Brion and his orchestral players—all the works are performed by symphony orchestra, not wind band—really seem to love this music, letting all the accents and syncopations have their proper say and giving careful attention to even the smallest details of articulation and phrasing. The disc’s programmers saved the best for last, finishing with three works that deserve far more attention in this repertoire: Three Quotations, the Venus March, and Hail to the Spirit of Liberty. Read complete review

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