Mardi Gras is here and it’s time to party! Get out the King Cake! Get out the streamers! Get out the colorful wigs! Grab your Mardi Gras classical playlist!
Classical likely isn’t the first genre to come to mind when you think of celebrating Mardi Gras. However, many composers have written mardi gras- and carnival-inspired works. So fire up this playlist and get your party started!
Ferde Grofe: Mardi Gras from Mississippi Suite
Ferde Grofe was an American composer who included a depiction of part of the American landscape in each of his works. You’ve likely heard his music before — a portion of his Grand Canyon Suite was the featured music for the “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out” scene in A Christmas Story. He was also the chief arranger for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and famously arranged Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
In addition to arranging jazz works, Grofe wrote music for radio and film.
Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka
Stravinsky’s Petrushka is a ballet that takes place at Maslenitsa, a Russian pre-Lent festival that is very similar to Mardi Gras. Petrushka, the main character, is a puppet in the Maslenitsa puppet show.
Antonin Dvorak: Carnival Overture
The Carnival Overture is a selection from the “Nature, Life and Love” trilogy. According to Dvorak, the work depicts “a lonely, contemplative wanderer reaching, at twilight, a city where a festival is in full swing. On every side is heard the clangor of instruments, mingled with shouts of joy and the unrestrained hilarity of the people giving vent to their feelings in songs and dances.”
Does anyone have some Mardi Gras beads I can borrow?