The American, Abe Holzmann, penned one of his best-loved marches, Blaze-Away! in 1901 – the year in which Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt took over as the youngest ever President of the USA. A much admired figure, it is widely believed that the march is a tribute to Roosevelt’s supreme leadership and charisma: qualities that had led the Rough Riders (a voluntary army regiment) on a brave charge that promptly took down the Spanish defenders at San Juan Heights in the Spanish-American war. Aside from the lack of glasses, Roosevelt may even be the figure on horseback that was depicted on the cover of the first edition!
As with many of Holzmann’s other works, this march was often played by Sousa’s band, and also became popular with circus bands. Maybe it’s this comic connotation that means that the music lends itself so well to being arranged for four bassoons?