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Album Review

Designed as an aural souvenir of the Boston Pops' annual Fourth of July concert, A Splash of the Pops is another celebration of America and Americana. Although it contains a handful of new orchestral pieces, such as "With Voices Raised," it is primarily a celebration of classic American music, both classical pieces and pop songs alike. Of course, there's not a whole lot of pop songs — the "Overture to State Fair," "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy," and Paul Simon's "America" are chief among them — but they fit in well with "The Star-Spangled Banner," "Stars and Stripes Forever," "1812 Overture," "America the Beautiful," and "Lift Every Voice and Sing" because Keith Lockhart's arrangements and conducting give it all a uniform style that is distinctly, undeniably the Pops. It's to Lockhart's credit that he keeps the tradition of the Pops alive while subtly developing his own style; this is certainly a Pops record, but he's infusing the group with his own taste, such as Paul Simon. And that's what makes A Splash of the Pops so entertaining — not only does it capture the feeling of a Pops Fourth of July concert, it sounds contemporary, as well.

Biography

Formed: 11 July 1885 in Boston, MA

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

For year after year, decade after decade, the Boston Pops were one of the most popular orchestras in America. Through concerts, tours, and an endless series of record albums, they brought classical music, marches, and contemporary pop to millions of listeners. Over the course of the 20th century, the orchestra was recorded more than any other. They developed a repertoire that functioned as the de facto American classical and pop lexicon. The Boston Pops were populists, emphasizing melody and texture...
Full bio