Posted January 04, 2013

posted January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

Leave it to Alex Ross to dredge up an apropos citation about Wagner on December 31, just at the dawn of the Meister’s 200th Jubilee Year. It’s John Philip Sousa’s arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the style of the Tannhäuser Overture, a piece which Sousa composed for the Chicago World’s Fair.

Ross concludes his 12-31-2012 blog post adding “There are many more Wagnerian oddities from the early days of recording in the Library of Congress Jukebox, as I’ve pointed out before; perhaps the oddest is Sousa’s attempt at perking up the apocalyptic transformation music from Act III of Parsifal.”

Quoting Sousa: “My two most popular pieces are the ‘Tannhäuser Overture’ and the ‘Stars and Stripes,'” Sousa said in 1899. “Wagner was a brass band man, anyway.”

Also posted are Ross’ musings on his upcoming book on Wagner and thoughts on his visit to the Wagner World Wide at the University of South Carolina, Columbia at the end of the month. Ross will give the keynote address entitled:  “Black Wagner – The Question of Race Revisited”.

Link to Alex Ross’ blog and listen to the Sousa clip:

Many thanks to Diane Parker for this one!