Page under development; updated March 7, 2023 Compositions followed by the RED speaker icon link to an AUDIO file. Compositions followed by the YELLOW video icon link to a VIDEO.
1a. Orchestral Compositions
Leroy Anderson conducting ref
Arietta (2:43) Completed June 1962
The main melody of "Arietta" first materialized as a brief eight-measure sketch for viola and cello, intended for Leroy Anderson's daughter Jane on viola and the composer on cello. Anderson later decided to expand the melody into a composition for string orchestra. He also made a setting for string quartet.
Balladette (2:51) Completed April 9, 1962 Leroy Anderson is known for his polished orchestrations of descriptive compositions, characterized as romantic or nostalgic in theme. "Balladette" stands in contrast as an elegant, cool and somewhat abstract piece. Mark Morris created a romantic choreography for this Anderson piece which was performed by the San Francisco Ballet.
Belle of the Ball (2:35) Completed May 12, 1951 As a student of Walter Piston at Harvard, Anderson displayed a fondness for the waltz form. Piston encouraged Leroy to write an "Anderson waltz" instead of a waltz that sounded like Strauss. This is an Anderson waltz.
Blue Tango (2:46) Completed June 1951 The tango was popular in the middle of the 20th Century, albeit difficult as a dance form. Anderson gave his tango a memorable melody and wrote it as a fox-trot so that people could dance to it. Both aspects helped to make this piece reach #1 on the "Hit Parade" for 16 weeks in 1953 and sell close to 2 million records.
Bugler's Holiday (2:17) Completed May 26, 1954 This is a virtuoso piece for trumpet which features three trumpeters. Over the years Bugler's Holiday has become a standard part of Independence Day band concert programs.
Captains and the Kings, The (2:45) Completed June 16, 1962 The idea for this piece came from a passage in a poem by Rudyard Kipling. "It's a quote from Kipling's 'Recessional.' 'The tumult and the shouting dies, the Captains and the Kings depart, Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, A humble and a contrite heart, Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, Lest we forget, lest we forget." "It's unusual for a march. It goes from 2/4 into 3/4. Most marches are two beats to a measure. It's in two parts - Captains first, King's second." "The first part is very martial and describes the captains. The middle section is more melodic and suggests the kings."
China Doll (2:35) Completed June 1951
Clarinet Candy (2:45) Completed June 9, 1962
"In writing Clarinet Candy I made full use of the clarinet technique. Usually an orchestra has two clarinets, first and second. But for this recording I double the number of clarinets - two on first and two on second. I think of this piece as a sort of "Fiddle-Faddle" for clarinets." - Leroy Anderson
First Day of Spring, The (1:50) Completed June 28, 1954
Forgotten Dreams (2:10) Completed May 28, 1954 Forgotten Dreams started out as a short instructional piece for beginning piano students. Anderson then felt that the melody could be expanded for string orchestra and feature the piano. At the recording session Anderson decided to play the piano part himself. Anderson starts the piece by giving the orchestra a "down-beat" as he starts to play the piano. In England "Forgotten Dreams" is perhaps Anderson's best known composition.
Girl in Satin, The (4:15) Completed August 27, 1953
Golden Years, The (3:20) Completed May 21, 1962
Home Stretch (2:30) Completed 1962 "Home Stretch" is one of three Anderson pieces which depict horses. The other two are "Horse and Buggy" and "Sleigh Ride" "Home Stretch" certainly has the fastest tempo of the three. Along with the five other new works by Anderson completed in 1962, they and the Decca record were collectively called "The New Music of Leroy Anderson".
Horse and Buggy (3:20) Completed June 11, 1951
I Never Know When To Say When (4:15) Completed 1962
Jazz Legato (1:35) Completed Summer 1938
After Jazz Pizzicato was so well received by audiences, Arthur Fiedler suggested that Leroy Anderson write a complementary piece. Anderson then wrote "Jazz Legato". These two pieces were both recorded and published in 1938. Although they are rarely performed together, they should be: Jazz PizzicatoandJazz Legato.
Jazz Pizzicato (1:45) Completed May 1938 "This is a study in jazz rhythms played pizzicato by the strings and called, appropriately, Jazz Pizzicato." - Leroy Anderson
Lady in Waiting Ballet (instrumental) (4:15) 1962
Lazy Moon (instrumental) (4:15) 1962
March of the Two Left Feet (2:23) Completed 1962
Penny Whistle Song, The (2:45) Completed June 3, 1951
Phantom Regiment, The (3:20) Completed May 23, 1951
Pirate Dance (4:15) Completed 1962
Plink, Plank, Plunk! (2:20) Completed June 12, 1951
Promenade (3:00) Completed April 1945 While working in Military Intelligence for the U.S. Army at the Pentagon (1943-1945), Anderson had no time to write music. That is until after "Victory in Europe Day" in May of 1945. Arthur Fiedler invited Anderson to conduct the Boston Pops in the annual "Harvard Night At The Pops" concert on May 23, 1945. In that concert Anderson included "Promenade" and "The Syncopated Clock" which he had just written since his work schedule gave him a little time to compose.
Pussy Foot, The (4:15) Completed 1962
Pyramid Dance (Heart of Stone) (4:15) Completed 1962
Sandpaper Ballet (3:10) Completed June 1954
Saraband (3:05) Completed January 4, 1948
Serenata (3:55) Completed February 12, 1947
Shall I Take My Heart And Go ? (4:15) Completed 1962 From the 1958 Broadway music "Goldilocks", this song has been described as one of the most beautiful ballads written for a musical comedy. The Featured Artists page has a link to a recording by Leroy Anderson's grandson Lars Vercelli singing this song backed up by Leroy Anderson's other grandson, Anders Vercelli and his trio.
Sleigh Ride - Instrumental (3:00) Completed February 10, 1948 So many people know the non-orchestral "covers" of "Sleigh Ride". Many people, however, may not know that like almost all of Anderson's music, "Sleigh Ride" was originally written for a full orchestra. In vocal versions, there is less music since the singer carries the melody. Here is the "gold-standard" of orchestral recordings of "Sleigh Ride".
Song of the Bells (3:00) Completed September 1953 Although this Anderson waltz is not a winter-themed piece, some conductors program "Song of the Bells" in the middle of an "Anderson holiday suite" that starts with "A Christmas Festival", continues with "Song of the Bells" and ends with "Sleigh Ride".
Summer Skies (2:30) Completed in August 1953 for a Decca recording session on Septmber 8, 1953. One of three compositions Leroy Anderson completed in 1953, "Summer Skies" is less descriptive than many other Anderson compositions. It is a softly emotive piece, similar to Anderson's "Balladette" which he wrote in 1962. One of Anderson's least known pieces, "Summer Skies" for brass quintet and a version for woodwind quintet was arranged by Thomas Hundemer and is available from Alfred Music.
Syncopated Clock, The (2:20) Completed April 1945 While working in Military Intelligence for the U.S. Army at the Pentagon (1943-1945), Anderson had no time to write music. That is until after "Victory in Europe Day" in May of 1945. Arthur Fiedler invited Anderson to conduct the Boston Pops in the annual "Harvard Night At The Pops" concert on May 23, 1945. In that concert Anderson included "Promenade" and "The Syncopated Clock" which he had just written since his work schedule gave him a little time to compose.
Town House Maxixe (4:15) Completed 1962
Trumpeter's Lullaby, A (3:00) Completed September 22, 1949 Longtime trumpet player at the Boston Pops, Roger Voisin complained that he was tired of playing "loud, martial-sounding music" as an encore. Anderson overheard Voisin's remark backstage at Symphony Hall. Soon afterward Anderson showed Voisin "A Trumpeter's Lullaby". They played it (piano/trumpet) for Arthur Fiedler. It became popular worldwide and remains so.
Typewriter, The (1:45) Completed October 9, 1950
Waltz Around the Scale (4:15) Completed 1962
Waltzing Cat, The (2:39) Completed February 21, 1950
Woodbury Fanfare (0:50) Completed 1959
1b. Orchestral Arrangements Leroy Anderson conducting ref
A Christmas Festival (8:48) Completed 1950, Stereo Recording 1959 Arthur Fiedler asked Leroy Anderson to write "a Christmas overture" to use as the opening music for a planned Christmas album that Fiedler wanted to record in 1950. "Christmas Festival" is what Anderson wrote and Fiedler recorded.
A Christmas Festival (5:45) Completed 1952, Anderson decided to create a shorter version of his "Christmas Festival". He felt that more conductors would be willing to perform a 6-minute piece versus the 9-minute original work. The shorter version would also fit on two sides of a small record, which it did. While the shorter version is performed much more often, the longer, original version has always been in print. A choral setting for the short version is available through Alfred. A choral setting will be available for the longer version in May 2021.
Irish Suite (19:00) Completed 1947 & 1949 The Eire Society of Boston, Massachusetts commissioned Leroy Anderson in 1947 to create an orchestral suite of traditional Irish folk music to be performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra. The suite consisted of 4 movements for the June 6, 1947 premiere. Anderson added 2 more movements in 1949.
I. Irish Washerwoman, The (2:36) 1947
II. Minstrel Boy, The (3:49) 1947
III. Rakes of Mallow, The (3:03) 1947
IV. Wearing of the Green, The (3:04) 1949
V. Last Rose of Summer, The (3:23) 1947
VI. Girl I Left Behind Me, The (3:04) 1949
Scottish Suite (11:24) 1954
Just as Irish Suite has six movements, Anderson planned a Scottish Suite with six movements. He completed the four presented here and performed them several times to favorable reviews. Anderson decided to publish only two of the movements, feeling that "Bonnie Dundee" and "Turn Ye To Me" were lacking. His family published these two latter movements which Leonard Slatkin recorded with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The two movements which were never written are "Scotland The Brave" and "Charlie Is My Darling".
I. Bluebells of Scotland, The (2:15) 1954
II. Bonnie Dundee (2:45)
III. Campbells are Coming, The (3:06) 1954
IV. Turn Ye To Me (3:18) 1954
Second Regiment Connecticut National Guard March (0:00) 1973
Serenade (Ständchen) (4:13) Franz Schubert, arr. Leroy Anderson; Boston Pops Orchestra / Arthur Fiedler
Song of Jupiter (4:10) 1951 Handel ("Semele"), arr. Leroy Anderson;
SUITES OF CAROLS (34:48) 1955
Suite of Carols for Brass Choir (12:28) 1955
I. While by my Sheep
II. In Dulci Jubilo
III. Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming
IV. I Saw Three Ships
V. From Heaven High I Come to You
VI. We Three Kings of Orient Are
VII. March of the Kings
Suite of Carols for String Orchestra (11:52) 1955
I. Pastores a Belen
II. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
III. O Little Town of Bethlehem
IV. Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
V. Away in a Manger
VI. Wassail Song
Suite of Carols for Woodwind Ensemble (11:03) 1955
I. Angels in our Fields
II. O Sanctissima
III. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
IV. O Come Little Children
V. Coventry Carol
2. Concerto in C Major for Piano and Orchestra Erich Kunzel conducting Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
Stewart Goodyear, Piano ref
Concerto in C Major for Piano and Orchestra (18:46) 1953
I. Allegro moderato (7:52)
II. Andante (4:54)
III. Allegro vivo (6:00)
3. Arrangements of Music by George Gershwin and Richard Rodgers John Williams conducting Boston Pops Orchestra
Arranged by Leroy Anderson ref
Girl Crazy Suite (5:54)
Richard Rodgers Waltzes (5:59)
4. Arrangements of Music for Orchestra and Violin Arthur Fiedler conducting Boston Pops Orchestra
Nathan Milstein, Violin
Arranged by Leroy Anderson 1950 ref
Felix Mendelssohn: On Wings of Song, Op. 34, No. 2 (3:04)
Stephen Foster: Old Folks At Home (3:41)
Schubert: Ave Maria (4:14)
Schubert: Serenade (4:20)
Gabriel Fauré: Après un rêve, Op. 7, No. 1 (2:35)
All Compositions are by Leroy Anderson.
Musical theater songs from Goldilocks: Lyrics by Joan Ford, Jean Kerr, Walter Kerr.
The Vocal versions of Blue Tango, Forgotten Dreams, Serenata, Sleigh Ride, The Syncopated Clock, and The Waltzing Cat have lyrics that were written by Mitchell Parish.
A "Complete Music Reference" for Leroy Anderson is located on the other official website for Leroy Anderson: www.leroyanderson.com Here you will find a complete list of all compositions and arrangements with detailed reference articles about numerous musical works not duplicated elsewhere.
You will also find a complete Biography of Leroy Anderson in English with shorter versions of the Biography in eight other languages.