Canadian Brass Stars & Stripes for the 4th of July!

I'm not sure how I feel about this one... The Canadian Brass, one of the finest brass ensembles in the world, playing a host of "American" (read: United States) patriotic tunes. The original press release said the new CD is "chock full of patriotic songs" but patriotic to whom? I like the tunes of Stars and Stripes Forever, America the Beautiful, Battle Hymn of the Republic, Hail Columbia, Shenandoah and You’re A Grand Old Flag, but I think it's more of a marketing ploy than a show of patriotism.

There are getting some great reviews, such as:

“Wow, who knew the Canadians felt this way about us? Here are 16 over-the-top tracks, featuring replica drums from the Colonial and Civil War eras, all toasting America. The themes all get impressive, imaginative treatment with their dashing fanfares and imaginative touches. The flat-footed “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” gets a burst of panache from a few bars of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.”Hmm. All this is making me uneasy. They must want something from us. ★★★ 1/2 (out of 4.) – Buffalo News

You can hear some tracks on their website and decide for yourself if this is an album you want to add to your collection. They are a great ensemble and undoubtedly play the music extremely well. Just don't confuse patriotism for marketing...


Anonymous said…
Hi Chip

I'm afraid you could not be more wrong regarding their intentions behind this CD. The arrangers and the Canadian Brass went to great lengths making this ablum true to it's title. The drum are all custom made period instruments, and I know this is a project they are very excited about. You can go to their YouTube channel (canadianbrass) to see videos and discussions about this latest release.
This a great CD with spakling arrangements and the brass sound fantastic.
Chip Michael said…
Dear Anonymous,

It's the whole patriotic thing I don't get. Patriotism is "national loyalty" by it's very nature. So, to be Canadian and to espouse United States Patriotism is at odds with each other.

I do not doubt the Canadian Brass play the music extremely well ( I said that in the post). I don't doubt they intend the music to be tug at the Patriot heart strings of those in the United States (I suggested as much in the post). It just is against the very nature of the word Patriotism to be from one country and offer loyalty to another.
Chip Michael said…
I feel it might have been better to avoid the word patriotic or patriotism. The use of them smacks of marketing to a US based audience.

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