Thursday, January 27, 2011
The art of the march
Why are marches the poor relation of classical music? Writing my earlier post about the cuts at the BBC World Service reminded me that during my time at Bush House the march Lilliburlero was used as the World Service identity signal. The tune of Lilliburlero (also spelt Lillibullero) is usually attributed to Henry Purcell but probably orginated as an Irish folk melody. Lilliburlero is one of the marches on the LP seen above which was recorded in 1967 for the World Record Club division of EMI by Sir Adrian Boult and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Other marches on it include John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes and Liberty Bell, the Battle Hymn of the Republic and Eric Coates' Dam Busters. For reasons that totally escape me it appears the only CD transfer was as a Sony release in 1999. Despite the unlikely repertoire this disc is prized by Boult afficionados for its superb performances and sound and is well overdue for re-release. The unlikely combination of Sir Adrian and a black lace bra features here.
* Fact is stranger than fiction - the BBC's recently launched Persian TV service uses a re-mix of Lilliburlero. Listen to it here.
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