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John Sheppard
MusicWeb International, September 2013

Like the whole series this disc is conducted by Keith Brion…He has the ability to make bands play with the loose-limbed ebullience needed for this music, and the results compare well even with the many recordings made by the composer himself in his latter years. I approached this disc wondering whether the bottom of the barrel might have been reached but it became immediately obvious that here was yet another disc guaranteed to rouse even the most sedentary of listeners from their chair. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2013

We are into the little-known music of Joseph Philip Sousa, and though we have reached volume 12 of the ‘Music for Wind Band’, I guess there is much to come. Here we traverse his long life as America’s most popular composer, much of the content written for his own Sousa Band which toured the US and abroad, clocking over a million miles in four years by ship and train. Like his European counterpart, Johann Strauss, much of his output was to mark a particular event or to meet a commission. Such works as Marching through Georgia became the evergreens of both the military and brass band repertoire, but, like Johann Strauss, he had mixed success in the world of operetta. That part of his life is here represented with a band arrangement of the overture to Chris and the Wonderful Lamp and an extract from that work is recirculated in Maidens Three, a score owing much to British Light Music of the time. Neither was he shy of using the music of others, the Mikado March fashioned from music by Gilbert and Sullivan, while the Revival March relies on the hymn, In the Sweet Bye and Bye. Some of the works date back to his days as conductor of the U.S. Marine Band, the Right Foot Forward March and Right - Left March, both functional scores. A ‘must have’ discs for Sousa addicts, and I guess that military bands in the States around the turn of the century would have sounded just like the excellent musicians of The Royal Swedish Navy Band. They are conducted by the Sousa expert, Keith Brion, who, if you read the small print, is apparently responsible for arranging much of the music. Excellently recorded by a British team familiar to collectors of Naxos. © 2013 David’s Review Corner, June 2013

It is difficult to get a full portrait of any composer from a single CD release, although companies sometimes try to provide one. More often, though, a series—sometimes a long series—is necessary to give listeners a satisfactory musical picture. That is certainly true for John Philip Sousa, who wrote more than 200 works, including suites and operettas, but is known to most listeners only for his marches—and only for a very few of those. It is true that his greatest march tunes are unsurpassed in their melodic gifts and upbeat attitudes, but it is also true that a great deal of less-known Sousa music is exceedingly delightful and ought to have a more-prominent place in concert halls and at outdoor musical presentations than it typically does. Several of the works on the 12th CD in Naxos’ first-rate ongoing Sousa series fall into this category. …this excellent series continues to show just how much more there is. © 2013 Read complete review

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