The Richardson label, apparently the single-handed product of one Charles A. Richardson of Annapolis, MD, has issued various musical manifestations of the United States Naval Academy in that scenic town. It's a small operation, small enough that their releases have borne corrections in pen ink of the company's ZIP code. This disc of music by the Naval Academy Band and Naval Academy Glee Club is billed as an audiophile recording. No recording data are given, not even a recording location, and the disc was originally issued in 1991; it doesn't seem to be an audiophile disc in the usual sense. The sound is unusually clear, however, especially in the band sections. As with other discs in this series, the music here will be welcomed by buyers connected with the service academies, and others may find it intriguing, beginning with the vintage gazebo photo on the front cover. The music here is a bit more patriotic in nature, and a bit more oriented toward the Navy, specifically, than the music on the Naval Academy Glee Club's releases in Richardson's series, which include some traditional Navy pieces but otherwise are not dissimilar from other collegiate glee club discs in terms of the range of material performed. Here the glee club offers several songs of the sea and a few spirituals, then joins the band for an Annapolis Medley. The band is a crack ensemble, on a par with groups from schools full of musical specialists, and the first part of the program includes confidently executed wind band arrangements of a couple of classical selections, the setting of the colonial-era hymn Chester by William Schuman (not Schumann), and the overture to Wagner's Die Meistersinger. If you like medleys, there are no fewer than four on the program, including one of the tunes from Henry Mancini's film scores. The Naval and Marine tunes are performed with special zip, and the disc as a whole is an enjoyable souvenir of a trip to Annapolis.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
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