As we return to live performances, explore uplifting orchestral works that help us celebrate the occasion, by Christopher Rouse, Anna Clyne, HK Gruber, and more.
This past year, we’ve turned to music to connect us during a long, difficult period apart—and now we look forward to celebrating the joyful return to live performance around the country. Explore these uplifting, energetic orchestral works that would kick off any celebratory program with a bang.
> Listen to our Celebratory Music Playlist on Spotify
1. Christopher Rouse, Rapture Duration: 13’
A classic Christopher Rouse calling card, Rapture features a warm tonal palette, wide-open harmonies, and soaring lines that convey a state of ecstatic bliss.
2. Michael Daugherty, Raise the Roof Duration: 13’
Rock- and Latin-influenced rhythms drive this popular work for timpani and orchestra, featuring virtuosic displays of polyrhythms and contrasting textures.
3. Anna Clyne, Masquerade Duration: 5’
A favorite concert opener, Masquerade evokes colorful celebrations with its lively drinking songs and country dance melodies.
4. HK Gruber, Charivari Duration: 12’
Gruber’s orchestral showpiece "spins a delirious orchestral fantasy” (BBC Magazine) based on Johann Strauss’s Perpetuum Mobile.
5. Sean Shepherd, Magiya Duration: 7’
Shepherd packs “frisky rhythmic energy” and “a fair amount of whimsy” (Chicago Tribune) into this short work, with punchy brass and percussion writing that reveals his love of Stravinsky.
6. Ana Sokolovic, Ringelspiel Duration: 15’
Full of verve and bright energy, Ringelspiel taps into the childhood nostalgia of merry-go-rounds.
> Watch Sokolovic discuss Ringelspiel
7. Peter Maxwell Davies, An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise Duration: 13’
One of Davies’s most enduringly popular works, An Orkney Wedding depicts a riotous celebration that breaks with the dawn, and a bagpiper's arrival from the back of the hall.
8. John Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine Duration: 4’
This joyfully exuberant fanfare evokes a late-night thrill ride in a sports car. This early work full of minimalist hallmarks is one of Adams’s most performed orchestral pieces.
9. Ralph Vaughan Williams, Flourish for Glorious John Duration: 2’
Vaughan Williams, whose 150th anniversary is celebrated in 2022, composed this rousing fanfare to celebrate the centennial season of the Hallé Orchestra.
Published by Oxford University Press, promoted under license by Boosey & Hawkes
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