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Pauline Lerner

Happy Fourth of July

July 4, 2010 at 6:32 AM

The Fourth of July is a major patriotic holiday in the U.S., and part of the celebration is hearing patriotic music associated with the holiday.  No Fourth of July celebration would be complete without a marching band playing John Philip Sousa's The Stars and Stripes Forever.  I like the version shown below, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic, even better.  Bernstein was a wonderful conductor, composer, jazz pianist, and educator.  I love to listen and to watch him conduct.  He made music viscerally.  He would mark the rhythm by hunching his shoulders up and down or bobbing his whole body up and down on the podium, and he would use evocative facial expressions to show other people the music as he felt it deep within himself.  Note the piccolo part, a prominent feature of the marching band version.

There is another version of The Stars and Stripes Forever which is famous because it is so different from the marching band version.  Pianist Vladimir Horowitz, who is famous for playing such things as Scarlatti's sonatas for unaccompanied keyboard, does a fine job of transcribing and playing The Stars and Stripes Forever as a piano solo.

Here is a very unusual version of The Stars and Stripes Forever, arranged for twin fiddles by Bruce Dukov, who plays both parts in this recording. I think that this version of the old favorite is really fun.



Happy Fourth of July, everyone.



From Terez Mertes
Posted on July 4, 2010 at 6:35 PM

 Oh, Pauline, that was so much FUN to watch and listen to. I love what you wrote about Leonard Bernstein - it made me appreciate his performance that much more. Love this full orchestral version. 

Thanks for the links and Happy 4th to you as well!

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on July 4, 2010 at 8:03 PM

Terez, I'm so glad you liked it.  Thanks for the happy birthday wish, too.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on July 4, 2010 at 8:10 PM

 I love Bruce Dukov's arrangements, what a lot of joy! (not to mention virtuosity!)

From Elinor Estepa
Posted on July 4, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Fabulous! thank's for sharing this Pauline--and have a Happy B'day!

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on July 5, 2010 at 3:04 AM

Elinor, thanks for your good birthday wishes.

Laurie, this is the first time I've heard anything arranged by Bruce Dukov.  Now you've got me curious, and I'll look for more.

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