I thought I’d gather together Cacophony episodes on some loose themes to make things easier to find. Here are a few episodes featuring pieces that always get me going or put a spring in my step, they help cement a good mood …and sometimes help me find one!
They’re all pieces at the shorter end of the spectrum, but there’s still light and shade and nuance in each – so it’s not remorseless positivity!
Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances are very short, snappy and full of life! The video performance in this link is terrific – you will scarcely see orchestral musicians look as happy – check out the flute and clarinets, enjoying the music making of their colleagues. [9 mins]
Mozart’s short, joyful, celebratory ‘Haffner’ Symphony may have been written under duress, but it certainly doesn’t show. [27 mins]
One of music’s ultimate mood improvers, Dvořák’s “Slavonic Dances” put a smile on everyone’s face. This is music that shows us the warmest, most generous view of humanity. It’s no wonder everyone loves them! [Listening time: 10.5′ podcast and up to 35′ music.]
A wonderfully exhilarating and punchy fusion from the writer of West Side Story, Bernstein – Prelude, Fugue and Riffs [10 mins]
Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, is the first truly great full length ballet and has these great dances for dancing’s sake [13 mins]
Enjoy a riot of colour at Berlioz’s The Roman Carnival [14 mins]
…or a quick and tasty Italian feast: Verdi Nabucco Overture [13 mins]
‘Hard to play, a lot of fun, a huge noise!’ Writer of Short ride in a fast machine John Adams sums up his own music nicely and this is a modern great to leave you uplifted and exhausted. [8 mins]
The magic of the Olympics is transformed by the alchemist John Williams into four minutes of musical, life-affirming perfection in his Olympic Fanfare and Theme. [11 mins]
A big favourite in our house. Nothing matches the end of Schumann’s Symphony no.3 when it comes to joyful music! [10 mins]
…except perhaps this 200 year old piece for the dance music generation the end of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. This actually might be the best thing ever. [12 mins]