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James Camner
Fanfare, June 2002

"The Royal Artillery Band, a top-notch British band with hundreds of years of history behind it, plays with a soft attack that conceals a lot of muscle. I liked this release so much that I hastened to acquire on my own Volume 1. Both are recommended as worthy additions to any Sousa collection."

David Hurwitz, December 2001

"This second installment in Naxos' ongoing Sousa edition follows the same format as the first: a large, three-movement suite--At the Movies--surrounded by smaller works. The most surprising piece here is a collection of popular hymn tunes called Songs of Grace and Songs of Glory that begins with a wind transcription of the opening of Verdi's Requiem(!) that segues via harp glissandos into Rock of Ages. Aside from the almost Ivesian juxtaposition of tunes (okay, Ives would have played them all simultaneously whereas Sousa lays them end to end), the most outstanding thing about this thoroughly enjoyable potpourri is the lovely, sensitive scoring. Other noteworthy works include three very popular marches (King Cotton, Bullets and Bayonets, Solid Men to the Front) and a delightful "Patrol" based on English, Scottish, and Irish folk tunes called Rose, Shamrock, and Thistle. Happily the performances in this installment, though dating from the same period as Volume 1, offer slightly cleaner, richer sonics (perhaps the different recording venue had something to do with it), though I still would prefer better balances from the percussion and greater rhythmic clarity throughout. Nevertheless, the interest of the repertoire and liveliness of approach earn this disc a firm recommendation."

"Bottom line: wonderful music, wonderfully presented - and at a bargain price. Naxos' 'American Classics' series deserves to become a classic itself."

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