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Album Review

With Altissimo!'s Duty, Honor, Country, General "Stormin'" Norman Schwarzkopf makes his unlikely debut as a recording artist in Harold Walters' piece of that title, which is taken from the motto of West Point and utilizes a narrated text derived from a speech by General Douglas MacArthur. While Schwarzkopf does not exactly have the awe-inspiring, stentorian and slightly hypnotic voice that MacArthur possessed (who does?), he does a respectable job of fitting the words to the right places in the music and imbuing the reading with his own distinctive and easily recognizable parlance. Not every four-star American general is pleased to be pressed into such service, and it appears that Schwarzkopf enjoyed this assignment — not as earth-shattering an event as defeating Saddam Hussein's long range tanks, but one that is likely to satisfy and entertain his many admirers. The rest of the disc, performed by the U.S. Army Field Band under Colonel Finley R. Hamilton, is very good, even excellent in spots. The performances are as nice and crisp as a good West Point Cadet's uniform, although the jig "Garry Owen" could have been a touch faster. There are many soldiers that will relish having a recording to listen to of vocal selections such as "The Corps" and "Dogface Soldier," numbers that are sung with regularity in the U.S. military but seldom heard outside it. The program that Hamilton has mapped out here is a nice blend of elements, not just a string of the same old marches, nor too exotic, and avoids the kind of military concert program one might sit through on a hot summer day that tends to be a bit on the boring side. Altissimo!'s sound is bright, immediate, and powerful; it will make the listener want to stand at attention.

Customer Reviews

Duty, Honor, Country

The voices of these soldiers are extraordinarily beautiful. When I returned from my dreary night-shift this evening, I played "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Tears came to my eyes. I felt a human being again, not merely a corporate drudge. Go Army.


This is a traditional military patriotic disk with some items which simply sparkle. The best parts of the album for me were the marches "Black Jack" which I had not heard before and "American Soldier." The brass was flawless and lively - in renditions that made me want to get up and march around myself. Also delightful was "The Official West Point March." The dynamics here were superlative, if surprising. One major surprise was when the main melody was first played 'mezzo piano' with glockenspiel - which at first I found annoying - until the counterpoint replied shortly thereafter - making for truly great excitement. These three marches alone make the album a pleasure to own. The sound quality of the disk as a whole was superlative. Listening to the disk at times I forgot that I was listening to a disk - rather than the band itself.

An Album of Great Dignity

"Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn." These words spoken by the great Douglas MacArthur sum up the importance of these three things to the history of our great country. These three ideas have been a central and powerful part of the legacy of our countries greatness. Without them we might not be the great nation we are today. This album captures the importance of these three axioms so very well. The soldier/musicians who perform on this album are proud service members who use their god given talent to inspire, uplift, and entertain. Never in the history of this nation have we needed to remember these three ideas more clearly. In the complicated and trying times of the modern world these ideals will see us through. If you need excellent and inspiring music to see you through the day then this album is a must have. From the well known West Point March to the title track each song brings about the imagery of great sacrifice and struggle to preserve what our great nation stands for. If you love military music or are just a true patriot like myself this album is a must have. For more excellent music by the US Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus check out God Bless the USA. They are both excellent albums that you are sure to enjoy. army band , army bands , army field band , army the band , band army of , army brass band , army band new , united states army band , and army band, army band music , army marching band , states army band , army band concert , army band of the , army national band , army of one band

Duty, Honor, Country, United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus
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Customer Ratings