Maestro’s End of Summer Listening List

Photo Nathalie Long Photography

The end of summer is perfect for those last summer barbecues. Whether you’re doing a small garden event with friends or just enjoying time with your spouse, children, and dogs, we have a perfect playlist for the perfect evening. 

Preparation Music: Upbeat, energizing music for whipping up a potato salad or grilling your mains.

B. Martinu: La Revue de Cuisine

Literally kitchen music — a jazzy ballet for small ensemble written about the escapades of kitchen utensils.

L. Larsen: Brass Flight

Libby Larsen writes a fluttering and colorful event for brass. Perfect for mixing those bubbly cocktails (or mocktails)!

Unveiling music: Welcome yourself (or your guests) into your garden, unveil the steaks, and make your summer barbecue an event!

T. Susato: Suite from the Danserye

Excessively regal and uplifting. Sure to get you in the mood to raise a glass. This renaissance piece has many instrumentation variations from period instruments (like recorders and shawms) to modern brass quintet, to wind ensemble. Choose your favorite!

H. Purcell: Overture to Act 4 from the Fairy Queen 

A duet of trumpets will usher in the evening with exuberance and classic style.

We recommend: Neville Marriner with The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Dinner music: A variation of pieces to keep the dinner conversation interesting. 

J.S. Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3

A classic from a well-loved genius. Don’t miss out on the famous second movement Air.

We recommend: Christopher Hogwood and The Academy of Ancient Music

R. Strauss: Serenade, Op. 7

Known for writing large programmatic tone poems, this is one of Richard Strauss’ first works — a peaceful and playful piece for winds.

We recommend: David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchester

O. Golijov: Last Round

An arousing homage to Astor Piazzolla. This spicy tango uses the full range of the string instruments to create a stirring and sensual suite.

Jonathan Dove: Figures in the Garden

A bubbling re-imagination of Mozart themes. A slightly funky but subtly driving modern take on the chamber winds, grounded in classical harmonic sensibility.

W.A. Mozart: Overture to the Marriage of Figaro

An old favorite, touching upon the comedic lightness of Mozart’s genius.

We recommend: John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists

After dinner: A quiet moment next to the fire pit with a port or bourbon. 

I. Stravinsky: A Soldier’s Tale 

Harken back to family stories gathered around the radio for a musical story of a soldier who encounters the devil coming back from war. This standard of the repertoire has attracted the collaborations of famous voices serving as narrators and storytellers. From Christopher Lee to Sean Connery to Jeremy Irons — find your favorite!