Heeresmusikkorps 5 Der Bundeswehr- Deutsche Heeresmarsche Aus Der Pruessischen Armeemarschsammlung Folge 3

This $2 album is the last in the series of German records I have been posting for Oktoberfest which concludes this year on Oct 3 which by my calculations is today.  What seemed to be a fun exercise in German music has lead to me greatly tiring of this and ready to move on to new things. Also, at the time of this writing, it is the Saturday after the landing of Hurricane Harvey which as you know by now, did not do much to the City of Houston other than a flash flood warning in a whole lot of counties(ED Note.  The Carnage flooding was yet to come).  You are probably asking as well if I bought every single marching band album during my Memorial Day trip to the Half Price Books on Veteran’s Memorial.  No.  I would say I bought around 1/8 of them.

The title of this album translates into “German Marches from the Prussian Collection”.  According to the back of this record, the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III, in 1817 oversaw to historic actions.  First, he unified the Prussian Protestant churches.  This was the first time such a unification took place in a German State.  Second, and important to this narrative, he ordered a collection begin of predominately German military marches.  The list initially included 36 slow marches and 36 quick marches but quickly grew not only in size but in scope.

At the last time of publication, 1913, the collection included 100 slow marches, 243 quick marches, and 138 Calvary marches (all Prussian).  The collection also included 35 Russian, 22 Austrian, 11 Italian, 4 French, 2 Swedish, and 1 dutch marches.

So this album is a collection of German marches as collected by the Royal Prussian Army. This was released in 1976.  The liner notes point out that these marches are both totally original at times as well as derivative of popular operas of the time.  Other than that, this is the third marching band album I have had to both listen to and write about so I am kind of at a loss in both categories.

For a sample, I went with the majestic “Festmarsch II 1871, Jan 18” which I believed celebrated the formation of the second German Empire between Kaiser Wilhem I and Otto Von Bismark.

This should come as no surprise if you have been reading the other posts but meh.  Could have used a lower price for these as well as the other albums.  Hope your Oktoberfest was fun and entertaining.

Toni Praxmair and the Kitzbuheler Nationalsanger- Authentic Austrian Volksmusik

This was $2.00.  Again, it appears I am trying to pass off Austrian music during my salute to Oktoberfest.  For shame.  Well, here we are with this.  Too late to correct it at this point.  Still gung ho on writing posts and getting ahead of the game.  Yes I am still waiting for Harvey to hit.  You remember Harvey right? (Ed Note.  At this point I was waiting for the return hurricane so techincaly it is a re-hit (Monday or Tuesday)).

So there is this record from what the album calls Austria’s most popular entertainers, most all from Kitzbuhel, a ski resort village high in scenic Tyrol.  This album features a collection of Austrian folk tunes, dances, and polkas featuring yodels and cowbells.  It came out on Capitol Records’ Capitol of the World series, I believe in 1958.

For a sample, I went with “Tiroler Kuckuck”.

Meh.  Really kind of over polka based folk music at this point. Also, slow interent is really souring my mood on most of this at the moment.

Deutschland Musik Korps- Vorwarts!Marsh!

Keepin’ it German for Oktober Fest this month for at least the end of this month.  Here is another record of marches I got for this event for $2.  If you are looking to participate in Oktoberfest activities but at this point, probably have not booked travel to Munich, check out your local area to see what celebrations are going on for those in Houston, there is a link below.  Apparently, they have not changed the graphics much from last year.

Link to Houston Oktoberfest activities

Here is another collection of German military marches brought to you by those fine folks at Fiesta Records.  When you think military bands, think Fiesta.  Not sure when this came out, nor I am too hip towards spending any more time to find out.  Anyway, this is performed by the German Music Corps. The title translates into “Forward March” and despite being German, I am constantly reminded of the Monty Python bit when I listed to this.

For a sample, I went with “Fliegermarsch” or aviator’s march.

Meh.  Sorry.  I like the front cover better than the one two days ago but marching music just does not do it for me.

Heeresmusikkorps IV- Soldatenlieder

Well,  it is September, which means Oktoberfest is on us again. Technically, it started 3 days ago.  This, the celebration runs to October 3. For one reason or another, I seemed to really double down on the German records this year for this event,  Well, let;s kick it off with this that I got for $2.

Link to helpful hints regarding attending Oktoberfest in Munich

This is a record of soldier’s songs performed by a marching orchestra, occasionally accompanied by a choir.  I assume the IV signifies 4th division of what ever branch this band is from.  Not really feeling digging into to this much further.  Listening to an album of military marches was enough research for me. Not that I do not support the military but it is just there have been no real innovations in the field of marches.  Also, I am not sure there should be, at least not at this juncture.

Anyway, for a sample, I went with “Das Schonste Auf Der Welt’ which translates to “The Most Beautiful In The World”.  To what they are describing, I do not know.

I hate to give this meh since I knew what it was going to sound like before I bought it, but come on.  Rather bland record so meh.

Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra- Blue Hawaii

This puppy was a buck.  Got it for the songs, most of which I like.  What is going on this week, other than zipping thru posts?  Well, nothing as much to make note of but still too much to dedicate too much time to writing this.

On that note, Billy Vaughn has always been hit or miss with me.  Well this album from Dot Records, released in 1959, is pretty much a miss.  I found the arrangements to be a tad slow and boring and not really in the whole tropical vein.  Of course, exotica was never really Vaughn’s bag and perhaps this is not fair, but what do you expect me to do about it today?

Well, for a sample, I went with one of my faves, “Hawaiian War Chant”.

Meh. Sorry Billy.  I’ll get you the next time around.


Sir Malcolm Sargent and the Pro Arte Orchestra- Gilbert & Sullivan- The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, and Patter Songs

This fine old collection was $5.  I bought it way, way right before I started writing this blog.  Yet, I still remember the cashier remarking how it reminded him of Raiders of The Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones franchise, as the minor character of Sallah, played by John Rhys- Davies, is fond of singing Gilbert & Sullivan numbers.  I found it a bit odd not only that the young tattooed clerk could connect this but could connect lines to HMS Pinafore.

On that note, a month back (or longer depending on when you read this), I attended The Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of The Gondoliers.  I felt the production was quite good and very entertaining but as I went to the Sunday matinee, I was quite concerned that the audience was mostly over 85 and thought that perhaps appreciation for G&S was dying.  A friend of mine pointed out that Sunday matinees are mostly older crowds and the G&S are not going anywhere.

So then there is this record conducted by esteemed British conductor, Sir Malcolm Sargent (1895-1967) who participated in his first G&S production at age 10.  He conducts the Pro Arte Orchestra with assorted soloists and the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus.  I am not sure when this came out other than after Sargent’s passing but it seems to be a collection earlier recorded works, most notably two of G&S’s most famous works, The Mikado and HMS Pinafore.

So to start off with samples, from the Mikado, I went with my favorite song from this piece (which is never on any of the albums I buy), “The Sun Whose Rays…”.  It is sung my Elise Morrison.  From the HMS Pinafore, I went with “I Am The Monarch Of The Sea…. When I Was A Lad”, sung by George Baker.

In terms of the patter songs, I wanted to use a number from “The Gondoliers” to tie it in to  the story above but I felt the album should have put different numbers.  There are a couple good patter songs that involve the Gondoliers and their wives which I felt could have been used on this.  Oh well, In their place, here is “In Enterprise Of Martial Kind”, sung by Geraint Evans with the chorus.

I really wanted to post “My Eyes Are Fully Open” from Ruddigore, but I felt this version was to tepid and slow.  And for the most part, that is my criticism of this collection.  The patter songs as well as G&S’s catalog really works when done in rapid fire.  All the songs really could have used a but more speed.  So meh.  Sorry.

Henry Mancini/ Doc Severinsen- Brass on Ivory

Here is a record from two artists who I frequently post for $1.

This collaboration from composer Henry Mancini and trumpeter Doc Severinsen was released by RCA in 1972.  Mancini handles the arrangement and piano duties while Severinsen takes up the fluegel horn.  Despite the high credentials of both artists, I found this album to be too slow and too ballad heavy.  One fast tempo-ed song would not have killed anyone.  Oh, well.  We are left then with what it is, two musical geniuses locked in a slow collection of ballads.

For a sample, I went with the theme to “Brian’s Song”, the 1971 made for tv movie we had to watch in jr high school that showed how two people can overcome race relations if they are highly paid athletes.  The movie chronicled the story of Chicago Bear tea mates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, who were adversaries and then friends with Sayers sticking by his pal until his untimely death from a tollbooth shooting.* Also, this song was written by another frequent guest, the Frenchman Michel Legrand

I can take pride since I have spoken so well of both artist in the past, in giving this record a poor review.  Meh.  Could have used a few more upbeat tunes.

*I would think that this is obvious satire since Picollo died of cancer at age 26 while the actor who played him in the movie, James Caan, was famously shot as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, but for the sake of anyone who can not take a joke, here is this disclaimer.

Los Norte Americanos- Galveston, I Saw The Light, and Other Hits In The Tijuana Sound

I paid $4 for this?  God knows why?  I remember I had a good reason why when I bought it but for some reason, it escapes me now.  Egads, $4 I paid for this steamer.

I guess I should take a second to point out that I am okay and have weathered the floods in Houston associated with Hurricane Harvey.  As I am on the 20th floor, I was really never concerned.

I was the only one able to make it to the office today (after some re-routing) and it looks like we only took minimal water and will only need to replace some carpet ( we elevated all our inventory off the ground prior to the storm and used my idea to use folding tables to do so).  And it looks like I will get a paycheck this Friday.  Plus gasoline was not too terribly gauge-y yet.

But I must acknowledge that I am one of the lucky ones and this storm did cause a lot of devastation.  I did spent a lot of my time holed up working on this blog so when you read about me preparing for Harvey in October, that is why.

The record states this is by Los Norte Americanos but in all reality, this was probably done by one of the many sessions bands for Somerset/ Allshire Records, more than likely outside of the US.  Made, no doubt very hastily in a bid to compete with the Latin explosion of the time, coming mainly for A&M Records (Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendez, etc), I believe this came out around 1969.

The first time I listened to this, there was something I liked about it.  Well what ever that was, it has escaped me the second time around.  I found this record to be pretty insipid and generally uninspiring.

But we do need a sample, so I went with the song I liked best, the Jim Webb penned anti-war song which Glen Campbell made into a hit (downplaying most of Webb’s sentiment), “Galveston”.

Meh. Got taken to the cleaners with this record.

Miguel Asins Arbo- Marchas Militares

Bucking convention and posting two marching band records this month, this was $2.  I bought it to tie in to a story I have about Colombian music which I shall relate below and which will prove to be a bit meaningless as the post progresses.

So there I was in Bogota, Colombia in 2011 or so, around Thanksgiving.  I was there for a Oil Show (which was pretty wild and a story unto itself), working for a Chinese company.  So every day, I would get picked up from my hotel and driven to the convention center with a car load of Chinese through graffiti- covered streets.  It was on once such morning that I heard a song on the radio which I struck me in immediate awe.  It was an orchestral piece with horns and akin to something I would relate to the Soviet Union or some other leftist/nationalist composer (aka minor tones and a rousing theme driven by the said horns).

I was immediately struck by two simultaneous thoughts.  First, this was the most beautiful piece of music I had ever heard.  Second, I knew that in all probability, this would be the last time I heard it as the driver did not speak English.  So given this, I simply listened to this piece, knowing that as soon as it was over, it would be gone forever.  And after it was over, a slight sense of depression fell which in all honesty, probably ended with the car trip.

Well, because I do not read these things before I buy them or write posts, this record was by Columbia Records and indeed not from Colombia.  Perhaps the Made in Spain label should have tipped me off. Well, I already wrote the story above and do not feel like deleting it so given this completely unrelated story , we have this record of military marches from Spain. This album is not close to song I had described, nor does it differ much from other marches. It  sounds like any other military song from Europe or North America.  There is not too much different in march composition in the West\ Civilization.  Anyway, this came out in 1975.   It is conducted by Miguel Asins Arbo, born in Barcelona in 1916 and died in Valencia in 1996.  He served as bandleader form military regiments in Valencia and Madrid as well as a chair of accompaniment at the Royal Madrid Conservatory. The marching band, I believe is from the 1a Region Militar.

For a sample, I went with “Soldadito Espanol De La Orgia Dorada” which Google translates into “Little Spanish Solider of the Golden Orgy”.  I do not quite think the last part is correct but I do indeed find it humorous.

Meh.  I guess I pinned too much hope on this album. Plus I tied it in to a completely if not unrelated, than only marginally related story which I am to tired to back out of.

The Gordon Highlanders- The Very Best of Sousa

This was $2, only 99 cents less than its original extra special selling price at Sam Goody.  As much as I love listening to marching band albums (sarcasm), I bought this so I could post the three witty insights below (well, I think they are witty anyway).

No one signifies marching band mus, not just universally but here in America like John Phillip Sousa (1854-1932).  As the leader of the US Marine band as well as his own band, “The March King” composed some of the best known marches in history.

At the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, there is a section in the American instrument exhibit for both Sousa and marching bands.  On display, they have a sousaphone, a light weight tuba designed by Sousa to make it easier to march or stand with than a regular concert tuba.  From that time on, I cannot get the image out of my head of Sousa and his counterparts, staying up late at night in a creative frenzy, perhaps driven by the cocaine infused Coca-Cola they had at the time, just riffing out ideas for new instruments.  I wish I could see some of the rejected ideas.

Somehow, the story reminds me of a Mr Show skit of “The Battle of the Megaphone Crooners”.  Mr Show also combined marching band music with Amadeus for this bit as well.

Sousa’s most famous work perhaps is “Stars and Stripes Forever” (hopefully not forever).  But his second famous piece of work you may ask?  I would say “The Gladiator March”.  Unfamiliar with this you say? You probably would recognize it when you heard it as it was the theme of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Why did they go with this song? For the simple reason that it was in the public domain.

Anyway, here is this collection of songs from his marches to his operettas, performed by the Gordon Highlanders under the direction of Douglas Ford.  I believe this was a British army regiment that got Incorporated into the Queen’s Own Highlanders in 1994, to form one group simply named the Highlanders.  Or maybe they are totally unrelated.  Who knows?

For a sample, I went with “Invincible Eagle”.

As far as the record goes, it all really started to sound the same after the third song so meh.