• Ian Passmore

Music that doesn't suck, No. 11: Gould's Patriotic Miniatures

This Fourth of July, we are covering the child prodigy Morton Gould. Although Gould did compose “serious” music, the only works of his that show up in modern orchestral programming are his shorter, more pop-influenced pieces—I call them “miniatures.” He even has a number of short symphonies, called “symphonettes,” some of which were recently recorded by one of my former teachers, Maestro Arthur Fagen. Here’s that recording, if you’re interested:

There are three pieces by Gould that I’d like to share with you today: American Salute (based on “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”), Yankee Doodle (based on…well…”Yankee Doodle”), and Fourth of July (essentially just a fun, festive, and extremely virtuosic showpiece). Obviously, they’re all overtly patriotic, but really only the first two sound like it; perhaps coincidentally, they’re also the most commonly performed…and again, Fourth of July is VERY technically demanding.

The American Salute is performed by the Boston Pops and their legendary longtime leader, Maestro Arthur Fiedler. Yankee Doodle is performed by Morton Gould and His Symphonic Band, and Fourth of July is performed by the United States Air Force Band, led by Col. Lowell Graham.

Enjoy these short, fun, patriotic miniatures…and Happy Fourth of July! :)

American Salute:

Yankee Doodle:

Fourth of July:

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