Sunday 31 January 2010
Tune of the Day: The Thunderer
by John Philip Sousa
The origin of this march's evocative title, “The Thunderer”, is not clear; some have guessed that it refers to a celebrated orator of the time when it was composed (1889), or to the pyrotechnic effects of the drum and bugle in Sousa's score. Whatever the story behind its name, “The Thunderer” is one of Sousa's finest and most famous marches; it is also one of the easier Sousa marches to perform, and for this reason it was often a favorite of circus bands, who liked to take it at impressively fast tempos.
It appears that “The Thunderer” was Mrs. Sousa's favorite march, as reported by their daughter Helen.