Where's the love for Dudley Buck?
When I wrote yesterday, “For a more glorious Fourth,” about the deplorable prevalence of Tchaikovsky’s shoddy 1812 Overture at Independence Day concerts, I neglected to link to the post by Tim Smith at Clef Notes that inspired my ruminations.
You should have a look to see whether his argument persuades you. Apparently The New York Times found something in it.
There have also been energetic arguments in favor of John Philip Sousa, which I entirely endorse. If you do not have the Delos recording (DE3102) of The Original All-American Sousa by Keith Brion and his New Sousa Band, you might want to get your hands on it. It includes a brief recording of Sousa himself introducing a 1929 performance of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” and a handful of other marches, alongside Brion’s vigorous performances.
But as yet there is no groundswell for Dudley Buck’s Festival Overture on “The Star-Spangled Banner,” more’s the pity. I first heard it played on WONO in Syracuse around the time of the Bicentennial. Someone, Henry Fogel or Kaaren Hushagen, had come across a recording and played it on the Fourth. It is not a great piece of music — neither is the 1812 — but in the proper hands it could be a fitting addition to the national repertoire. It is, after all, our own.