Strike Up the Band (musical)

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This article is about the 1927 stage musical. For the 1940 film musical, see Strike Up the Band (film).
Strike Up the Band
StrikeUpTheBand.jpg
Sheet Music
Music George Gershwin
Lyrics Ira Gershwin
Book Morrie Ryskind
Productions 1930 Broadway
1998 Encores!
2002 Off-Broadway

Strike Up the Band is a 1927 musical with a book by Morrie Ryskind, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and music by George Gershwin. It ran in Philadelphia that year, unsuccessfully, and on Broadway in 1930 after the original book by George S. Kaufman was revised. The story satirizes America's taste for war: America declares war on Switzerland over a trivial trade issue.

Aside from the title tune, the 1940 Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney musical film Strike Up the Band had no relation to the stage production.

The overture is often performed as a stand-alone concert work.

Libretto[edit]

The original book by George S. Kaufman centered on Horace J. Fletcher, a Babbitt-like cheese tycoon who tries to maintain his monopoly on the American market by convincing the United States government to declare war on Switzerland. The story ended darkly.

The 1930 plot by Ryskind, softened the political overtones, increased the emphasis on romance and added a happy ending. It relegated the war plot to a dream sequence. The incident that incites war concerned chocolate instead of cheese.[1]

1927[edit]

Act 1[edit]

Workers at the Horace J. Fletcher American Cheese Company sing their daily vocal exercises ("Fletcher's American Cheese Choral Society") to start the day and greet The foreman Timothy Harper, manager C. Edgar Sloan, and owner Horace J. Fletcher. Fletcher is pleased with the President signing a new bill imposing a fifty percent tariff on imported cheese. Mrs. Draper arrives to ask Fletcher to do charitable work with her in order to get close to him. Her daughter Anne goes to meet Timothy, though her mother disapproves of the relationship ("17 and 21"). Fletcher receives news that someplace called "Switzerland" has sent a telegram protesting the tariff. Fletcher tells Sloane to send a messenger to the hotel of Colonel Holmes, the President's adviser. Mr. Fletcher's daughter Joan enters and wants him to handle James Townsend, a reporter who wrote an article calling her a snob. After she leaves, Townsend arrives to interview Fletcher about Switzerland's response to the tariff.

Production[edit]

During its original 1927 pre-Broadway tryouts, the political satire closed in Philadelphia, fulfilling original librettist's George S. Kaufman's definition of satire as "what closes on Saturday night."[2][3] The original is heavily influenced by Gilbert and Sullivan.[1]

The Gershwins revised the story with Ryskind for the 1930 Broadway run; they also removed the song The Man I Love, now a Gershwin standard, from the show. They added a dozen new songs and rewrote the lyrics or even changed the melodies of many of the 1927 songs. The new score is less Gilbert-and-Sullivan and more swing-influenced.[1] Directed by Alexander Leftwich and choreographed by George Hale, the revised production opened on Broadway at the Times Square Theatre on January 14, 1930 and closed on June 28, 1930 after a moderately successful run of 191 performances. The cast included Dudley Clements and Blanche Ring.[3]

Score[edit]

The Gershwins' first fully integrated score for a book musical was influenced by the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan.[4] The pit band was the Red Nichols Orchestra, which included Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, Jimmy Dorsey, and Jack Teagarden.

The overture is often performed alone as a concert work. [5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][54]

The title song, "Strike Up the Band", was given to the University of California, Los Angeles by the Gershwins in 1936 as "Strike Up the Band for UCLA" and has become one of the school songs. [55]

In 1990, a studio cast recording of the original 1927 score (and some of the 1930 songs), featuring Rebecca Luker, Brent Barrett, Beth Fowler and Don Chastain, was released on the Nonesuch label.[56] At the same time, the 1930 version was recorded with the same cast but not released. This recording was finally released in 2011 by PS Classics.[1]

1927 song list[edit]

1930 song list[edit]

Arrangements[edit]

Music from Strike Up the Band has frequently been re-arranged for performance by different types of musical ensembles.

Don Rose, using Gershwin's original score and notes, augmented the orchestration of the overture to facilitate a performance by a full symphony orchestra (which features more players than a traditional pit orchestra). This version is the one commonly performed by symphony orchestras.

Luther Henderson[57] and Sammy Nestico[58] created arrangement for Brass ensemble. Désiré Dondeyne[59] made an arrangement for wind Orchestra, Warren Barker[60] for Concert band. Martin Caron,[61] member of Duo Caron did a transcription for formation four pianists-eight hands. Also note Gerry Mulligan,[62] Mark Hayes[63] (Choir arrangement) and Carl Strommen[64] (Arrangement for wind instruments).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Jones, Kenneth. "Starry Studio Recording of Strike Up the Band Is Dusted Off for Release by PS Classics". Playbill.com, April 5, 2011
  2. ^ Furia, Philip. "Chapter:Sweeping the Country, 1930–1933" Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist, Oxford University Press US, 1997, ISBN 0-19-511570-8, pp. 81, 87–88
  3. ^ a b Suskin, Steven. "'Strike Up the Band', 1927" Show Tunes: The Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway's Major Composers Oxford University Press US, 2010, ISBN 0-19-531407-7, pp. 67, 69
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved September 11, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Strike Up The Band … (Orion Weiss , John Fullam ; Buffalo…) | Classical music review from". Classical-Music.com. 2013-10-09. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  6. ^ "Pacific Symphony to Present GERSHWIN GREATS Concert, 7/20". Broadwayworld.com. 2014-06-26. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 7, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ "An American Legacy: Celebrating George Gershwin with Broadway stars, opera soprano and piano prodigy" (PDF). Madisonsymphony.org. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  9. ^ "Willoughby Symphony & Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue – Magical | The Culture Concept Circle". Thecultureconcept.com. 2014-10-02. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  10. ^ "Performance Schedule". Leonard Slatkin. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 7, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Overture to "Strike Up the Band"". YouTube. 2014-02-14. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  13. ^ Feinblatt, Scott (2014-07-22). "Gershwin's Americana at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater | OC Weekly". Blogs.ocweekly.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  14. ^ "Arts & Culture". Madison Magazine. 2016-01-18. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  15. ^ Hayes, David (2016-04-04). "Issaquah | eastofseattle.news". Issaquahpress.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  16. ^ "Handel's MESSIAH, Gershwin and More Set for New York Philharmonic's 2014 Holiday Concerts". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  17. ^ "Music Reviews : Vaughan's Rhapsody In Gershwin – latimes". Articles.latimes.com. 1986-07-14. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  18. ^ "Strike Up The Band Overture – Maurice Peress and the New Palais Royale Orchestra on Pandora Internet Radio – Listen Free". Pandora.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
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  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 22, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2014. 
  23. ^ Barker, John W. (2014-05-03). "Pianist Garrick Olsen and soprano Emily Birsan dazzle in Madison Symphony Orchestra's Gershwin-themed program – Isthmus | Madison, Wisconsin". Isthmus.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  24. ^ "Yoel Levi, Tomer Lev, Gershwin – Israel Philharmonic Orchestra". Ipo.co.il. 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Gorgeous Gershwin at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall". Manchestersalon.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  27. ^ "Gershwin: Strike up the Band Overture on CD, DVD & download (MP3 & FLAC) – Buy online from". Presto Classical. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  28. ^ "The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs – Michael Feinstein, Ian Jackman –". Books.google.com. 2012-10-16. p. 139. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  29. ^ "Kudos final « Spectrum Brass". Spectrumbrass.com. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  30. ^ "2001 – 2010 | London Phoenix Orchestra". Phoenixorchestra.org. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  31. ^ "article2". Pacific Symphony. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  32. ^ Keer, Barbara. "Peninsula Symphony Review – Grand Opening at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center | Splash Magazines | Los Angeles". Lasplash.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  33. ^ "Dianne Reeves and Simon Rattle: "Ravel Meets Gershwin"". Opera News. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  34. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 26, 2015. Retrieved December 26, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Home". TWSO. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  36. ^ Jezioro, Jan. "Classical Music Countdown". Artvoice.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  37. ^ Garlick, Chris (2013-01-31). "Simon Rattle and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment excel in Mozart | by Bachtrack for classical music, opera, ballet and dance event reviews". Bachtrack.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 26, 2014. Retrieved December 26, 2014. 
  39. ^ "The WORT 89.9 FM Madison, Wisconsin Area Classical Music Calendar for the Week Beginning May 1, 2014 Compiled by Rich Samuels, Host of "Anything Goes" – WORT 89.9 FM". Wortfm.org. 2014-04-30. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  40. ^ "County Second Youth Orchestra". FBYM. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  41. ^ "Opening Night at the Erie County Fair in Buffalo, NY – Aug 6, 2014 8:00 PM | Eventful". Buffalo.eventful.com. 2014-08-06. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  42. ^ Paul Bowles; Timothy Mangan; Irene Hermann. "Paul Bowles on Music: Includes the Last Interview with Paul Bowles". Books.google.com. p. 119. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  43. ^ "2014–2015 Concert Season" (PDF). Huddersfield-phil.org.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  44. ^ "NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC 2014 HOLIDAY CONCERTS" (PDF). Nyphil.org. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  45. ^ "Komische Oper Berlin – New year's concert with Lise de la Salle and Henrik Nánási". English.komische-oper-berlin.de. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  46. ^ "George Gershwin | Repertoire | Bell Percussion". Bellperc.com. 1937-07-11. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  47. ^ "It's time to strike up the band". Canberratimes.com.au. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  48. ^ Zwiebach, Michael (2012-07-03). "Top 10 Classical Tunes For a 4th of July BBQ". SFCV.org. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  49. ^ "List of performances" (PDF). Stonningtonsymphony.org.au. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  50. ^ Jezioro, Jan (2012-10-03). "Joyce Yang Plays Beethoven". Artvoice.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  51. ^ Roberto Alagna. "3MBS Fine Music Melbourne". 3mbs.org.au. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
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  53. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 13, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2015. 
  54. ^ a b Paul Bowles; Timothy Mangan; Irene Hermann. "Paul Bowles on Music: Includes the Last Interview with Paul Bowles". Books.google.com. p. 119. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  55. ^ "Strike Up the Band, song (from… | Details". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  56. ^ "George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, John Mauceri, Brent Barrett, Don Chastain, Rebecca Luker, Jason Graae, Beth Fowler, Charles Goff, Juliet Lambert – Strike Up The Band (1990 Studio Cast)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  57. ^ "Swing That Music, A Tribute to Louis Armstrong". InstantEncore. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
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  59. ^ "Strike up the band : Ouverture" (in French). WindMusic. 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  60. ^ "Strike Up the Band – Conductor Score". Music44.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  61. ^ Dominique Olivier. "Festival international de Duo-Piano du Québec : Jamais deux sans trois | Musique". Voir.ca. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  62. ^ "Account Suspended". Gerrymulligan.info. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  63. ^ "Sheet music: Strike Up the Band! (TTB)". Free-scores.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  64. ^ "Under Renovation". Activemusician.com. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 

External links[edit]