By Collette Cook
The fourth Thursday in November—Thanksgiving—is likely not the most popular holiday to inspire classical music, in part because it is only celebrated in North America. However, the themes of Thanksgiving — celebrating the harvest and gratitude — are universal across cultures and eras. So while there might not be many overt classical works about Turkey Day itself, there is plenty of classical music that was inspired by the harvest time, autumn leaves, or gratitude. We want to share our Harvest Playlist with you with some of our favorites (and yes, you’ll find much more than just Vivaldi’s Autumn, although we agree that it is an essential to any Autumn playlist).
Some pieces, such as Fanny Mendelssohn’s Das Jar, Glazunov’s The Seasons, and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires are movements of larger works that center around the months of the year or the seasons. Other pieces such as Takemitsu’s Ceremonial – An Autumn Ode, Percy Grainer’s Harvest Hymn, and Aaron Copland’s The Promise of Living are stand-alone works that are entirely dedicated to the harvest season. We hope that you find a new favorite amongst these autumn gems that reminds you of all you are grateful for—classical masterpieces being one of them.