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Overview of Suites Composed by John Philip Sousa – Lyric Say

John Philip Sousa, the so-called “March King” was a phenomenon of the leisure world. Across the flip of the twentieth century, he was fairly presumably the best-known title in music. Audiences on each side of the Atlantic had been dancing his two-steps, bands all over the place had been enjoying his marches, and he received very rich from sheet music and recording gross sales.

John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa

Sousa, as you could know, is the composer of the official nationwide march of the US, “The Stars and Stripes Forever!” What you won’t know is the truth that by the tip of the twentieth century, that march was recorded by extra bands and orchestras than another single piece of music ever written.

John Philip Sousa: The Stars and Stripes Perpetually

John Philip Sousa was born in Washington, DC, on 6 November 1854. A very powerful determine within the historical past of bands and band music was the son of immigrants. His father was born in Spain to Portuguese dad and mom, and his mom was born in Bavaria.

Sousa was a sickly youngster, and initially educated at residence. However he clearly had musical expertise, as he studied singing, the violin, piano, flute, and several other brass devices. When he was able to run off with a circus band, his father enlisted him as an apprentice musician within the US Marine Band on the age of 13. And, unsurprisingly, he tried his hand at composition.

John Philip Sousa: Semper Fidelis

Sousa is sort of fully identified for his roughly 135 marches, however he composed an unlimited variety of different music sorts as nicely, together with operettas, songs, and suites. We thought it is perhaps enjoyable to take heed to the Sousa suites, which prominently featured in his band concert events, however aren’t significantly well-liked immediately.

John Philip Sousa and his band

John Philip Sousa and his band

The Sousa suites characterize a type of center floor between the classics and music for leisure. A scholar writes, “Since the Sousa-style concert was much different from concerts presented today, it is perhaps understandable that the suites have fallen into a class known as period music. Some conductors who are champions of Sousa’s music are quick to point out that in many cases, this categorization is unjustified.”

John Philip Sousa: Individuals Who Dwell in Glass Homes (Royal Norwegian Navy Band; Keith Brion, cond.)

All of Sousa’s suites inform tales in music, and plenty of are downright humorous. Individuals Who Dwell in Glass Homes dates from 1909 and began as a humorous examine for band. The inspiration, nevertheless, is present in varied types of alcohol and the nationalities related to them. The opening motion is named “The Champagnes,” adopted by “The Rhine Wines, “ The Whiskies-Scotch, Irish, Bourbon, and Rye,” and “Convention of the Cordials, Wines, Whiskies, and White Rock.”

It’s stated that Sousa a lot loved a drink or two, and in 1923 when the alcohol debate reached fever pitch, Sousa inserted a further motion “White Rock and Psyches” into his suite. He additionally rescored the piece as an orchestral ballets, and in that manufacturing dancers had been dressed as massive bottles symbolizing the assorted drinks.

John Philip Sousa: The Final Days of Pompeii (United States Air Drive Heritage of America Band; Lowell Graham, cond.)

Sousa known as The Final Days of Pompeii his most interesting composition and programmed it extra typically than any of his different suites. Supposedly, “he was particularly proud of the original descriptive effects, based on the 1834 novel The Last Days of Pompeii by Baron Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Scored in three movements, the opening “In the House of Burbo and Stratonice” depicts a pub with a number of males ingesting and enjoying cube.

“Nydia” transports us right into a world of sunshine and love because the blind slave woman falls passionately in love along with her proprietor, Glaucus, who, unbeknownst to her, is in love with one other girl. “The Destruction of Pompeii and Nydia’s Death” options the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which cloaks town in darkness. Nydia can nonetheless navigate the streets, and she or he guides Glaucus and his lover to security aboard a ship. Nevertheless, when Nydia realizes that Glaucus’s coronary heart belongs to a different, she throws herself into the ocean.

John Philip Sousa: On the King’s Courtroom (Royal Artillery Band; Keith Brion, cond.)

John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa

On the age of 26, Sousa grew to become conductor of the U.S. Marine Band, and within the ensuing twelve years of service, he significantly improved the ensemble. Sousa, nevertheless, arrange his personal band in 1892 and took the world by storm. In its first seven years the band gave 3500 concert events; in an period of practice and ship journey it logged over one million miles in almost 4 a long time. There have been European excursions in 1900, 1901, 1903, and 1905, and a world tour in 1910-11, the zenith of the band period.

Sousa was an astute businessman, and in preparation for the Sousa Band’s 1905 tour to England, the place they performed for King Edward VII at a command efficiency, he composed the suite On the King’s Courtroom. In three actions, varied feminine royalties are portrayed in a complicated orchestration that includes a distinguished woodwind part, whereas the brass is scored sparingly. By basically omitting the trombones, Sousa provides larger significance to the horn part, and the clarinets are steadily doubled by alto and tenor saxophones.

John Philip Sousa: Wanting Upward (Royal Artillery Band; Keith Brion, cond.)

The inspiration for the primary motion of the Wanting Upward suite got here on a crisp South Dakota night time whereas Sousa was wanting on the heavens from the window of his practice. By the Mild of the Polar Star borrows two melodies from the primary motion of Act II of the operetta Chris and the Fantastic Lamp. The second motion “Under the Southern Cross” was impressed by an commercial concerning the steamship Southern Cross.

The third motion is titled “Mars and Venus,” and opens with a pair of drum rolls, “which begin as whispers, slowly swell into thunderous roars and then diminish to the original whispers.” This was definitely a singular impact that should have shocked audiences, however we might by no means know exactly what Sousa had in thoughts.

John Philip Sousa: Three Quotations (Razumovsky Symphony Orchestra; Keith Brion, cond.)

Sousa Conducting Atlantic City

Sousa Conducting Atlantic Metropolis

John Philip Sousa had studied classical and well-liked music, and he was one of the vital achieved conductors of the day. He additionally was a perfectionist recruiting probably the most excellent musicians by providing larger pay. We are able to get a glimpse of the technical excellence of the band by their continually diverse packages, when musicians performed with out rehearsal, and infrequently utilizing manuscript components or transposing orchestral components.

Sousa was a voracious reader, and he had an intensive library. His “Three Quotations” are absolutely to be present in some uncommon ebook in his private library. The primary citation reads, “The King of France marched up the hill with twenty thousand men; the King of France marched down the hill and ne’er went up again.” A delicate pastoral scene options in “I, too, was born in Arcadia,” and “In Africa” he imitates the musical traits of the continent with a touch of cakewalk and a reference to the religious.

John Philip Sousa: Impressions on the Motion pictures (Royal Artillery Band; Keith Brion, cond.)

Composed in 1914 Impressions on the Motion pictures is subtitled “Scenarios of Cinematographers.” From the 1915 programme notice within the first revealed version, we study that Sousa needed to specific by means of music what’s often carried out by the written phrase. Within the opening motion “The Serenaders” we’re transported to a neighbourhood faculty campus, with faculty college students delighting in serenading co-eds.
“The Crafty Villain and the Timid Maid,” finds the woman pleading for her security whereas being pursued by a intelligent and relentless villain. The concluding “Balance All and Swing Partners” includes a ragtime hoe-down depicting a dance on the village inexperienced. The music was thought-about attention-grabbing and authentic however probably not in demand. The rating was not revealed till 1922.

John Philip Sousa: Digital camera Research (Central Band of the Royal Air Drive; Keith Brion, cond.)

John Philip Sousa and his band, 1893

John Philip Sousa and his band, 1893

Though wealth clearly appealed to Sousa, he additionally needed to create a brand new sort of musical group that would compete artistically with the best European bands. He was additionally seeking to current a novel repertoire and novel devices to well-liked audiences. And that’s how he got here up with the sousaphone, created by J. W. Pepper in 1893 below Sousa’s course. Designed to be simpler to play than the concerto tuba whereas standing or marching, it additionally carried the sound above the heads of the band.

We don’t know if the suite Digital camera Research was impressed by precise images or just originated in Sousa’s musical creativeness. These inspirational snapshots had been assembled in the summertime of 1920. Sousa had composed the good Spanish Dance “The Flashing Eyes of Andalusia,” and he later added a mild intermezzo motion titled “Drifting to Loveland,” and a contented and optimistic “Children’s Ball” to finish the suite.

John Philip Sousa: Tales of a Traveler (Royal Artillery Band; Keith Brion, cond.)

The Sousa Band launched into a world tour on 24 December 1910. It wasn’t the primary band to journey around the globe, however the publicity generated was immense. Sousa’s status and recordings preceded him, and he was welcomed as a conquering hero at each port. Sousa was simply recovering from malaria to start the journey, however in 1911 the troupe appeared in England, Eire, South Africa, Tasmania, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Western Canada, and the Midwestern U.S. earlier than ending the tour on 10 December 1911 in New York Metropolis.

Easter Monday on the White House Lawn

Easter Monday on the White Home Garden

Tales of a Traveler mirror some musical inspirations from that landmark tour. The opening motion “The Kaffir on the Karroo” presents native dances of the Karroo in South Africa, whereas the romantic waltz from the “Land of the Golden Fleece” originates in Australia. Initially, the ultimate motion was a “Coronation March” referencing King George V, but it surely was by no means carried out for that objective. A number of years later, Sousa composed a substitute motion known as “Easter Monday on the White House Lawn” because the concluding variety of the suite.

John Philip Sousa: Leaves from my Pocket book (Royal Swedish Navy Band; Keith Brion, cond.)

Leaves from My Pocket book was devoted to the “Campfire Girls of America,” who showered Sousa with presents and honours as he toured the nation along with his band. The stunning waltz ballade is devoted to “The Campfire Girls,” whereas the opening “Genial Hostess” is a busy musical portrait. Probably the most attention-grabbing motion, when it comes to title, is unquestionably the concluding “Lively Flapper.”

The Flapper, 1920

The Flapper, 1920

In the course of the Twenties, “Flappers” was the title given to younger girls identified for his or her energetic freedom and breaking with conventions and boundaries. The primary era of impartial American girls, “flappers aspired for economic, political, and sexual freedom for women.” They wore brief “bob” hairstyles and brief skirts to point out off their legs and ankles, with cigarettes dangling from painted lips. They drank alcohol, rode in and drove automobiles, and kissed and “petted” with completely different males.

John Philip Sousa: Maidens Three (Royal Swedish Navy Band; Keith Brion, cond.)

Staying with younger girls for a bit, the Maidens Three Suite is definitely not a devoted suite however a group of beforehand composed works. “The Coquette” dates from 1887 and is a brief caprice that Sousa steadily accompanied with a citation from a German poem:

I do know a maiden honest to see,
Take care! Take care!
She will each false and pleasant be,
Beware! Beware!

“The Summer Girl” originated with music from his operetta Chris and the Fantastic Lamp, and “The Dancing Girl” is a tarantella extracted from Sousa’s operetta The Bride Elect.

Sousa strongly believed {that a} symphony orchestra represented too many confining parts of a sure custom. He by no means needed to carry out “ponderous symphonies” or “massive preludes,” however believed that “entertainment is of more real value to the world than technical education in musical appreciation.” He sought an authentic and progressive strategy to efficiency and programming, and “wanted to avoid those musical combinations governed by certain laws and institutions which he felt would cater to the many rather than the few.” Innovation and recognition had been the 2 targets that dominated his musical actions.

Throughout a 1924 trip in Havana, Sousa was impressed to compose the colorful suite Cubaland. Every motion depicts the rule of Cuba below completely different governments, Spain, the US, and eventually Cuba. No matter you consider the Sousa suites, they sound extremely infectious music that makes me need to dance and march. I feel, Sousa was a genius.

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John Philip Sousa: Cubaland (Royal Artillery Band; Keith Brion, cond.)

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