Something for Thursday

Play enough marches in band in high school and college and they get into your blood. I heard this one on the radio yesterday, and while I’ve known it for years via recordings, I never played it that I can recall. It’s The Florentiner March by Julius Fucik, a Czech composer who is best known for his marches, and in the United States for one march in particular, Entry of the Gladiators, which was appropriated by circuses throughout the country. Florentiner is the one I prefer, though. Fucik’s output of waltzes, marches, galops, and polkas makes him something of a Czech answer to Vienna’s Strauss family, and his concentration on the brass and wind bands in his compositions makes him something of a Czech answer to John Philip Sousa.

Florentiner is interesting in its structure: it starts out full military brass pomp, complete with opening fanfare and then two strains of pleasing martial tunes. But when we get to the trio, the march takes a deeply lyrical turn, and by the end it’s pretty much singing its heart out.

Here is the Florentiner March by Julius Fucik.

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