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 Post subject: The One Where I Offend Everybody...
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 9:49 pm 
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I received four new CDs in the mail the other day, and one thing really struck me...

Am I the only person that thinks that Frederick Fennell should retire? I know, it's blasphemy to slam a 90-year old man that has contributed so much to the concert band world for well over 50 years, but I just don't think he's that good at all. He can interpret Sousa and Fillmore, but if it's a march by any other composer he just seems completely out of his element. On one of the CDs I just got, Fennell leads a rendition of Colonel Bogey that is virtually a dirge... he takes it so slow!! It's an almost four minute version of the march, and it sounds terrible! Okay, a comparison here. I have Colonel Bogey on six different CDs with six different ensembles and six different conductors. Here's the running times on them...
3:16
3:18
3:20
3:10
3:15
3:43 (<-- Fennell)

...And then, the entire reason I bought the CD: Purple Carnival. Another horrible rendition. He keeps the low brass subdued throughout, you can barely hear the trombones, even in the final strain. You know how in the trio towards the end of the phrase there are those piercing notes followed by the decending triplets in the low voices...
DAT!
duh-duh-de-duh
DAT!
duh-duh-de-duh
DAT!
...etc? Every time I've heard this the trombones/tubas have been part of that descending line. Every time. Fennell kicks the low brass out and just has the bass clarinet do it. So softly you can barely hear it. So yeah, I'm a little annoyed at Frederick Fennell; he just seems totally clueless on anything that's not Sousa or Fillmore.

Other random comments...
- Is it just me, or is the U.S. Marine Band the best on the planet? Every time I hear them they destroy even my high expectations. The new CD I got of them is a live, in concert CD, and they just effortlessly fly through Jig by Daniel Godfrey, and Adam Gorb's Awayday.
- I'm in love with the Tokyo-Kosei Wind Orchestra's version of The Overture to La Forza del Destino (G. Verdi/T. Inagaki). I also think their version of Peterloo Overture (M. Arnold/H. Kondo) is the best I've ever heard.
- Two new marches I'd never heard before but now really like: Honey Boys on Parade (Cupero) and Idaho (Barnhouse). Man, Honey Boys sounds like a tough march. I love that sixteenth note run by the trumpets in the trio.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2003 3:00 pm 
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I like some of the stuff that Fennell has done, such as a CD I have were he does Holst. There's also another one that has lots of Sousa, and that doesn't seem that bad. I haven't really heard anything else, though, so I can't disagree with what you said, as I haven't heard anything else. The stuff I have heard, though, I haven't found as terrible as you say. From what I have heard of the U.S. Marine Band, they are amazing as you say, so I agree with that part of your post.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 10:36 pm 
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Heh, the man may just need to retire from conducting. I remember seeing him at the '99 WASBE Conference in San Luis Obispo and the 2000 Midwest Clinic in Chicago. Short and frail, but still full of energy for his age (should have seen the glass of beer he was having at Midwest). If you read the DCI website a couple months ago, he conducted the mass brass. Wonder what that was like.

The U.S. Marine Band is one of the few that I truly appreciate. Others include the Dallas Wind Symphony, the U.S. Air Force Band, the University of North Texas Wind Symphony, The Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy, and the Rundfunk Blasorchester Leipzig. The last 2 are based on the recordings they did of Stephen Melillo music. They sound like wind versions of the Chicago Symphony. (If you've never heard the CSO, I highly recommend their version of "The Planets.") The US has some fine wind ensembles, but there are quite a number of European ensembles that are just as good.

Anybody else looking for a one-stop kind of place to find this stuff (wind ensemble) can go to http://www.westcoastmusicservice.com. Don't let the title of the company fool you. They operate out of Florida.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 1:18 am 
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Funny you should mention WCMS... that's precisely the place I got my CDs from. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 6:17 pm 
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Phan- How'd you get a Marine band cd?!
No, no, no if you think the US Marine band is good, you should hear The President's Own! OH MY GOSH they will make you cry they're so good! That's who I wanna join after college.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 6:46 pm 
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See the link (three up) to the West Coast Music Service. The USMC Band has put out a ton of CDs. And yes, I've heard the President's Own, but I can't say that the difference between the two is anything other than negligible.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 8:07 pm 
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Wicked. Cheers!

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 Post subject: umm...helLOOO!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:21 am 
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:? Perhaps the reason there is only a negligible difference between the USMC band and The President's Own is...IT"S THE SAME BAND! You might check the cover or inside liner of your CD(s) to find out.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:42 am 
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I thoroughly enjoy the Marine Corps band recordings...they play Sousa very well. Regarding Fennell, I really like the first half of his 'Hands Across The Sea' cd recorded back in the late '50s or early '60s. It contains great playing and clear sonics, including a great version of 'Father of Victory.' I would recommend, however, the superb 'Hail Sousa' cd recorded by Dr Revelli and the U of Michigan Symphony band back in the 1964 era. Their quality of phrasing, intonation, power and finesse are simply wonderful; and they adhere to a fat woodwind-oriented sound with the brass sitting on top without dominating...just what Sousa preferred (Revelli knew Sousa very well).


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 2:32 pm 
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Fennell retire... WHAT ARE YOU, MAD?!?!?!?! :twisted:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:14 pm 
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Honey Boys on Parade is actually an easy march. We (LPO) played it during concert season. It's a really fun march to play. You should try it, it's interesting that not a lot of people have heard of it. That's cool though!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 8:45 pm 
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ILL~BE~BACH wrote:
Honey Boys on Parade is actually an easy march. We (LPO) played it during concert season. It's a really fun march to play. You should try it, it's interesting that not a lot of people have heard of it. That's cool though!


Overall it might be fairly easy, and it's very short, but that trumpet line in the trio is something to behold.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 5:53 pm 
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We had an awesome trumpet player that played that on his own and he's now in the Army band and was promoted 3 times before he went in and after about 6 months now, he's only inches away from the Presidents band. He's 3rd of about 30. And the guys he beat have masters degrees and he hasn't gone to college yet. So yeah, Honey Boys was easy for us! :wink:

There's my 5 cents

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 Post subject: Others
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 10:54 pm 
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I noticed that military bands have come up alot in this thread or whatever you want to call it so I now I'm going to put in my two cents. The Airmen of Note are an awesome military group that specailizes in jazz/swing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:56 pm 
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Hostrauser wrote:
See the link (three up) to the West Coast Music Service. The USMC Band has put out a ton of CDs. And yes, I've heard the President's Own, but I can't say that the difference between the two is anything other than negligible.


Did you know that if you are a band director or music teacher you can actually go to the Marine Corps band web site and they will send you copies of their recordings for free? I did this and got some really amazing CD's from them.

As for swingin' jazz bands, I think the US Army Blues are pretty amazing myself, and pretty much any college ensemble from Texas, haha!

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