Gail Kubik this weekend. Probably a name mostly forgotten now, save for collectors and fans of mid-century Americana. Kubik came from the Eastman School of Music and had a versatile career as a composer, composer for Films, composer for Radio Dramas as well as Professor of music at several Universities around the country. He was a prolific composer, working all the way until just before his death in 1984 at age 69. His last commission was a major composition for the Texas Bicentennial in 1976.
But like so many of his contemporaries, he focused on music with a Nationalistic tinge to it. Music that was based on either some fictitious events of American history or mythic legends of Folk Lore America. And this piece, an Orchestral Suite of his film score to Paratroops, which he composed for the Department of The Army, was one of several film projects he was associated with during the years of World War 2. The performance, quite possibly the first, is of the first and third movements of the Paratroops Suite, and it comes at a time when Kubik was heading up the Film Unit of The Office Of War Information. It was during this period that he composed a considerable amount; all designed to boost morale, particularly during this time, in 1943, when the War was slow in making progress and morale needed boosting.
A reminder that Music has been used for a lot of things; most are obvious, but some are subtle.