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Barry Kilpatrick
American Record Guide, September 2013

All readings excellent and enthusiastic. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2013

Film composer and one of America’s most popular and successful arrangers, Ira Hearshen has been particularly active in wind band music for the concert hall. Opening with a very spicy arrangement of one of Gershwin’s best known melodies, Strike Up the Band, the disc’s most extended work—lasting over forty-five minutes—is the Symphony on Themes of John Philip Sousa. In the conventional four movements, the second being the slow and the third in the shape of a scherzo, it is in essence a continuous potpourri of music by Sousa, with a little help from other composers. It is a very clever piece of work, imaginatively scored, the finale a rip-roaring conclusion that opens with a classical fugue. It does, of course, have a great deal of music to call upon from the prolific Sousa, and I doubt that you will recognise much of its source material. Back to more familiar territory with Irving Berlin’s There’s No Business Like Show Business clothed as you will never have heard before, with quotations from many unconnected works. The last five tracks are given to Hearshen’s Divertimento for Band, its very diverse moods inspired by a number of composers. The Air Force Band plays the Divertimento, with the Heritage Band playing the remaining tracks, both of symphonic proportions and equally outstanding. The recordings, some of which date back to 1989, have the required impact the music requires. © David’s Review Corner

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