This volume 6 is, to my ears, the best release in the Sousa band music series on Naxos thus far. Why? It contains such a delightful mixture of Sousa's music, from the earnest patriotism of The Golden Star, with its imaginative use of Taps in the middle section, to the utter charm of the trio of pieces comprising the Three Quotations Suite, from the bubbly playfulness of The Liberty Bell (famous from its use as the title music for the Monty Python Show), to the majestic bombast of The Chariot Race.
The performances, as has been typical throughout this series, are uniformly excellent. Keith Brion approaches his work here with utter dedication and is consistently able to capture the character of each piece with a deft sense for color and precision. The sound is vivid and the notes informative. I think for once I can recommend this disc not only to band music enthusiasts but to listeners of light music wanting to expand their horizons.
Copyright © 2007, Robert Cummings