Tone Poem Tuesday

When you get to the point of having blogged for over 20 years (sheesh!), you start to worry about repeating yourself. At least, I certainly do! I find myself looking for pieces to share here, and then I think, “Nah, I’ve surely shared that before.” Such as this one, which I have indeed featured before on this site (well, not this site, but the previous version of it), but it turns out it was twelve years ago! So, here we go: the “March of the Belgian Paratroopers” by Pierre Leemans.

This is the rare march that is almost devoid of martial bombast; instead it opens and closes in relative softness.

Belgian composer Pierre Leemans began composing the “March of the Belgian Paratroopers” while serving in the army during World Wars I. Left incomplete, he returned to it decades later during World War II at the request of a group of paratroopers. His most famous composition is meant to portray a military patrol, approaching from a distance, passing by, and then leaving.

That structure calls to mind the great In the Steppes of Central Asia, by Alexander Borodin. This march, like the Borodin, is curiously optimistic in tone.

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