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  Two 19th-Century Views of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (1887) (trans. John H. Butler]) Excerpt: Festival Overture DUDLEY BUCK (1839-1909) Excerpt: L’Union (1862) LOUIS MOREAU GOTTSCHALK (1829-1869) This short two-part one movement piece is comprised of two 19th century settings of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the first harmonized by Dudley Buck in 1887 as part of a larger piece entitled Festival Overture, and the second a short excerpt from Louis M. Gottschalk’s patriotic piano composition, L’Union. Although The Star-Spangled Banner was not officially established as the national anthem until 1931, the melody, Anacreon in Heaven, was a popular 18th-century tune that was perfect for Francis Scott Key’s patriotic words in 1812. Dudley Buck set the tune in his Festival Overture to evoke feelings of patriotism. On the evening of March 24, 1864, Mr. Seward, the Secretary of State, brought President and Mrs. Lincoln to hear Louis M. Gottschalk play “The Union.” Thirteen months later, the composer played this piece for Mr. Lincoln again, this time at a memorial concert which Gottschalk organized aboard the steamer Constitution on the way to California. He later wrote in his journals about the event, “Where are now those frivolous judgments on the man we are now weeping for today? Yesterday his detractors were ridiculing his large hands without gloves, his large feet, his bluntness; today this type we found grotesque appears to us on the threshold of immortality, and we understand by the universality of our grief what future generations will see in him.” L’Union served as Lincoln’s first epitaph, and in the words of Gottschalk’s biographer, R. Offergeld, “like fine documents in our history, L’Union speaks for the boisterous, tender, awkward, visionary, and all but forgotten America that Lincoln bereaved.” L’Union was written as a “battle piece” for solo piano in 1862 and dedicated to General McClellan, whom Gottschalk admired. It begins with a muscular virtuoso passage of interlocking octaves, meant to represent cannon shots. Out of the “bombardment” emerges a beautifully harmonized and imaginative arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
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