Fourth of July, revisited

July 5, 2016 at 11:00 am

It’s hard not to program a piece like today’s – called “Fourth of July” – on the fourth of July. I think you’ll understand my reason for waiting for the day after, once you hear it. America’s birthday is a day for beer, burgers, fireworks, and kicking back. Today’s piece is more of a walk down memory lane – a grown man remembering the sounds and emotions of being a young boy on Independence Day.

Charles Ives is considered to be the first serious American composer who completely broke away from European tradition. He was an insurance salesman whose avocation was composition – he wrote music for the sheer joy of it. During most of his life, he was considered a loony, and could only get his music played if he paid the musicians himself. His music is experimental and intellectual: some people get a real kick out it, and some people just can’t stomach it. Whatever reaction you have is a perfectly valid reaction.

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Independence Day

July 4, 2016 at 10:30 am

You might recognize this march as the theme music to Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It’s actual title is The Liberty Bell March, one of the most famous works of the march master John Philip Sousa. And it is the perfect way to celebrate the American Independence Day.

On the actual Liberty Bell are these words: Proclaim Liberty thro’ all the Land to all the Inhabitants thereof.

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