Morton Gould - Brass and Percussion (SACD)
Morton Gould – Brass and Percussion (SACD)

Composer: Dan Emmett, E.E. Bagley, Edwin Franko Goldman, F.W. Meacham, John Philip Sousa, Morton Gould
Orchestra: Morton Gould And His Symphonic Band
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: DST (iso)
Label: Living Stereo
Release: 2005
Size: 3.11 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

01. The Stars And Stripes Forever
02. Parade (For Percussion)
03. On Parade
04. Semper Fidelis
05. Jubilee
06. Fourth Of July
07. Hands Across The Sea
08. Battle Hymn
09. Natinoal Emblem
10. On The Mall
11. The Thunderer
12. American Youth March
13. The Chimes Of Liberty
14. Happy Go Lucky
15. Washington Post
16. The Gladiator
17. El Capitan
18. The U.S. Field Artillery March
19. Dixie
20. The High School Cadets
21. Sound Off
22. The Corcoran Cadets March
23. American Patrol
24. Yankee Doodle
25. Manhattan Beach
26. National Fencibles March
27. Jericho

This concludes the living stereo series, as far as the discs I have myself. The odd few missing from the full series have been promised to me, & I will publish them, as soon as I receive them.
This disc will do more to enliven your existing speaker system, bringing it to life, more than you can imagine. The sound belies the fact that the original recordings were made in real stereo in 1956/1959—more than a half century ago!

Amazon review:
I am a classical music person, and orchestra is my chosen medium; however, back in the 1960s I heard a recording of Morton Gould conducting his symphonic band, and was blown away by the precision, arrangements, and super sound of the LP version of this disk. Now it is out in RCA’s new hybrid CD, re-mastered, and spectacular. The power of this band is superb; its members are obviously pick-up musicians of the highest caliber (I doubt if this band was together for an extended period). Of particular note is Gould’s original piece “Jericho”, a 12-minute depiction of the famous biblical battle. When the trumpets get cranked up to blow those walls down, you will hear one of the most spectacular feats of brass playing ever recorded, and you had better warn the neighbors before the window-rattling sound of the walls coming down blows the speakers off your stereo. Gould’s other arrangements are also top-notch; the 2’43″ “Dixie”, for instance, is among the cleverest ever put to disc. If you dig band music, this sleeper of a CD will astound you!
~by Larry D. Maupin

Audaud review:
Morton Gould’s disc on RCA Living Stereo is more of a “greatest hits” collection, and starts off with a rousing rendition of Stars and Stripes Forever; all of the famous marches follow, including Semper Fidelis, Hands Across the Sea, National Emblem, Washington Post, El Capitan – you name it, it’s here. While all these are given spectacular readings, the real stars here are the lesser-known works, such as Gould’s own Parade for Percussion and the nearly thirteen-minute Jericho, with its intricate interplay between percussive and woodwind elements. While much of this disc is brash pomp, there’s so much more to be heard here, and it’s particularly exciting to hear much of it for the first time in its original three-channel sound. Gould’s tour-de-force arrangement of the classic Dixie has the band’s playing alternately intimately and at full-bore, and is almost alone worth the price of admission to this disc.
~Tom Gibbs

Morton Gould’s Brass & Percussion is an artifact from the halcyon days of high fidelity, a lost era when “Radio Row” in New York City was bursting at the seams with shops selling every kind of cutting-edge audio gear to hi-fi enthusiasts eager to blow away their wives, neighbors, & everyone else with big audio systems. Forthwith, Brass & Percussion has a BIG sound — recorded in Manhattan Center with classic Neumann U-47 microphones & a huge symphonic band made up of crack East Coast professionals.
RCA Victor decided to commence recording in stereo starting in 1953, figuring that before long, consumer-grade systems would catch up to the technology. RCA began issuing stereo tapes in 1955; vinyl albums finally did catch up in 1958. The digital compact disc version of Brass & Percussion, compiled by RCA producer John Pfeiffer in 1993, consists of 2 albums. Tracks 1 through 17 originate with the 1956 mono LP Brass & Percussion issued as LM 2080, although not all of these appeared at the time. The remaining 10 tracks were recorded in 1959 & are culled from LSC SD 2308, Doubling in Brass, a rare item as a vinyl album despite winning a Grammy in the engineering category. Despite its vintage, all of the selections are in stereo on the CD.
As to the performances, Morton Gould’s own original music & arrangements come off the best, with his all-percussion work Parade being an especial sonic treat. The CD version of Brass & Percussion contains 14 Sousa marches, & while they are adequate performances, the “Living Stereo” recording tends to favor the high winds, percussion, & reverberation. The interpretation of Sousa, while enthusiastic & distinctive, is not as focused as it is for the other 13 pieces. Nonetheless, Brass & Percussion is an achievement in technical terms that was 2nd to none in its day, & listeners will hardly believe such a live-sounding, loud, & powerful recording was made 5 decades ago.
~ Uncle Dave Lewis , Rovi

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