5 Classical Pieces To Celebrate An Election Victory

Wednesday, November 09, 2016 - 12:00 AM

The election is over and for some it's time for great celebration. (Tom Williams/Getty Images)

The election is finally over and your favored candidate emerged the champion. Feels good, doesn’t it? No doubt you’ll want to celebrate properly, so we’ve compiled some top-notch tunes that reflect the unbeatable feelings of sweet victory. Let’s get this party started, shall we?

Note: If you are feeling the blues because your candidate lost, we have a list for you, too.

"Triumphal March," from Aida (Verdi)

A big thank you to Giuseppe Verdi for inviting us to the most magnificent parade in all of the Old Kingdom. In this iconic scene, the Egyptian army returns victorious from battle against the Ethiopians. The chorus and orchestra serve up some of the most recognizable and joyous music in operatic history. It’s the perfect way to kick off your post-election celebrations, but if you want to avoid any tragedy don’t listen past this part. It’s still an opera, after all.

"Presidential Polonaise" (Sousa)

President Chester A. Arthur wasn’t a fan of the official presidential anthem, “Hail to the Chief.” During his presidency, he asked John Philip Sousa to write a more “suitable” anthem, and along came “Presidential Polonaise.” The lively military march, with its regal brass and European rhythms, is almost certainly what Arthur wanted. We’ll never know for sure — he died before he heard it— but surely you’ll find it spectacular.

Wellington’s Victory (Beethoven)

Beethoven composed this piece to commemorate the Duke of Wellington’s heroic victory over French forces at the Battle of Vittorio. In order to capture the essence of the battle, Beethoven created a musical mash-up incorporating familiar British (“Rule Britannia,” “God Save the King”) and French ("Marlborough Has Left for the War,” aka “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow") tunes. Wellington’s Victory was a hit when first premiered and it’s easy to hear why.

"Prize Song," from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner)

In this Wagnerian comedy, the knight Walther finds himself in love with the lovely Eva. They desperately want to marry, but there’s a bit of a problem: Eva’s dad has already promised her hand to the winner of a master-singers’ song contest. But poor Walther knows nothing about music. So, with a lot of help from his friends — and a cram session that would put any college student to shame — he sings a radiant ode to love that amazes the judges.

1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky)
In a way, the 1812 Overture is like a souped-up version of Beethoven’s Wellington's Victory. An Eastern Orthodox hymn and the French and Russian national anthems come together in a musical mélange that represents the successful defense of Napoleon’s 1812 invasion of Russia. Tchaikovsky’s enduring work sounds like a victory party, and in your post-election ecstasy no one will be surprised if you mimic those fierce cannons with some champagne pops.

The end of this playlist can’t possibly mark the end of your celebrations. What else are you spinning on this special day?


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Comments [17]

George from Queens, New York

Everyone relax. WQXR is not playing politics! If you're unhappy with the election results, as I am, check out the playlist created for those feeling the sting of defeat: http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/5-classical-pieces-sting-election-defeat/ Nobody is playing politics. I'm grateful for the curated pieces.

Dec. 30 2016 12:11 PM
Anyela Camargo from UK

This is wrong. Leave politics to others.

Nov. 15 2016 11:06 AM
Greg from Port Washington

I'm adding my voice to the growing chorus that this post is unnerving, unnecessary, and to my mind, insulting and revolting. I e-mailed WQXR last week and told them if they didn't remove the post they can expect no donations from me for a very, very long time.

Nov. 14 2016 07:41 AM
Owen from Manhattan

I think this station should drop the political thing, which is an idea now gone wrong, and just play music. I remember after 9/11 this station played beautiful soothing music programmed perfectly to help in healing. They should do that now, and remove these two victory and loss posts

Nov. 14 2016 03:18 AM
Michael Keller from Santa Fe, NM

Now tell me: What country are you living in?

Nov. 13 2016 09:33 PM
Owen from Manhattan from NYC

Well, you had the music for the loss, so I guess equal time is called for, but I agree with the listener that suggested the people who voted for him do not listen to your station

Nov. 13 2016 07:12 PM
West Coast Listener from Silicon Valley

I agree with the comments questioning the sanity of this revolting post.

A list of mourning music titles would have been more appropriate given the election results!

Nov. 13 2016 06:07 PM
Jack Walters from Pennsylvania

Are you kidding?! We now have a habitual liar, denying his own words, cheater of the common working man, a self declared misogynist, as my grandfather would call is his ilk a schyster translated as a royal cheater, a psychopath, who is surrounding himself with racists, anti-gay minions, etc. I suggest you redesign this post to reflect the reality of what has happened and what we are in for!

Nov. 13 2016 11:51 AM
Christopher Martin from Jersey City

has any Trump supporter ever listened to wqxr, or been on this website?

Nov. 13 2016 11:50 AM
mike c from nyc

Im confused. You are an arts organization correct? is this a joke?

Nov. 12 2016 01:09 PM
Richard Pairaudeau from Madrid

'Wellington's Victory' and 'Overture 1812'in their naïve ways, are about tyranny defeated. There is an optimistic irony in their inclusion in this post. It was also enjoyable and encouraging to see and hear an impressive youth orchestra project (in the Beethoven), and I hope to see many more such initiatives enjoying public support.

Nov. 12 2016 02:53 AM
Hbomb from NY, NY

Are you seriously kidding us with this post?

Nov. 10 2016 12:17 PM
Notman from East Meadow,NY

There's absolutely nothing to celebrate.Instead there should be worldwide mourning
at this nightmare.

Nov. 09 2016 05:22 PM

Great to see and hear Sousa's Presidential Polonaise on this list - thank you for including it. THANK YOU to all our veterans past and present for your service to our country!

Nov. 09 2016 08:34 AM
John J.Christiano from Franklin NJ

I think the Lacrimosa from Mozart's requiem is more appropriate. Gounod's "Marionette Funeral March" or, although not a classical piece, Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns".

Nov. 09 2016 08:06 AM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

Nice selection.

Nov. 09 2016 07:04 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

Although we in the U.S.A. don't have royalty, "Coronation March" from Meyerbeer's "Le Prophe'te" is very celebratory as is its second subject. I like Howard Barlow's version of it with the (Voice of) Firestone Orchestra.

Nov. 09 2016 05:29 AM

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