We were surprised to find, of all things, a march by John Philip Sousa on The Rest is Noise the other day. We had no idea that Alex Ross was a fan of The March King. It’s a nice one, called “The Transit of Venus” March, and performed by the Staff Band of the Westgroup Russian Forces in Germany. Here it is.

Mr. Ross gives me the chance to share one of my favorite Sousa marches, namely “The George Washington Bicentennial” March, written at the end of his career. I like the whole thing, but the third strain (or trio) is especially fine.

You’ll find a recommendation for an exceptional recording of Sousa marches in my recommended recordings. Why is it that Communists played Sousa so well?

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