Turkey Trot

Unknown-94In celebration of Thanksgiving, here is Turkey Trot, the fifth movement of Leonard Bernstein’s Divertimento. Written in 1980 for the Boston Symphony’s centennial season, Divertimento is a collection of short, witty musical vignettes, which includes a waltz in the unusual meter of 7/8 time. The final movement, “The BSO Forever”, is a tribute to John Philip Sousa and the ghosts of the orchestra’s past conductors and musicians. The piece’s motives grow out of two pitches: B (Boston) and C (centennial).

Divertimento is a piece about history and memory-the popular dance music performed by the Boston Pops through the years and Bernstein’s own association with the orchestra as a student at Tanglewood and assistant to Serge Koussevitsky. Turkey Trot also seems to contain echoes of Bernstein’s early Broadway music. Listen to What a Waste from Wonderful Town for comparison. 

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2 Responses to Turkey Trot

  1. Mary November 26, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Thank you for sharing this delightful music and the interesting history behind “Turkey Trot” and Bernstein’s Divertimento!


  1. Beethoven and the Spirit of Gratitude | The Listeners' Club - November 23, 2016

    […] If you’re looking for more Thanksgiving music visit these past Listeners’ Club posts: Beethoven’s Hymn of Thanksgiving, A Charles Ives Thanksgiving, Turkey Trot […]

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