The Music of Leroy Anderson

Leroy Anderson (June 29, 1908 - May 18, 1975) is best known as an American composer of short, light concert music pieces, many of which were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. John Williams described him as "one of the great American masters of light orchestral music."

He studied at Harvard, focusing on Scandinavian languages, while also working as organist for the university, leading the choir and the Harvard University Band, and conducting and arranging for dance bands around Boston. This work came to the attention of Arthur Fiedler, who in 1936 hired Anderson to arrange traditional and popular music for the Boston Pops, as well as write original compositions, commissioning Anderson to write Jazz Pizzicato in 1938 and Jazz Legato in 1939.

In 1942, Anderson joined the U.S. Army, as a translator and intelligence officer, working at the Pentagon on Scandinavian intelligence matters during World War II. But his duties did not prevent him from composing, and in 1951 Anderson wrote his first hit, Blue Tango, earning a Golden Disc and the #11 spot on the Billboard charts.

His pieces, and his recordings during the fifties conducting a studio orchestra, were immense commercial successes. Blue Tango was the first instrumental recording ever to sell a million copies. His most famous pieces are probably Sleigh Ride and The Syncopated Clock, both of which are instantly recognizable to millions of people. According to a 1953 study, Anderson was the American composer most performed by American orchestras.

Anderson's musical style, heavily influenced by George Gershwin and folk music of various lands, employs creative instrumental effects and occasionally items not traditionally used as musical instruments, such as typewriters and sandpaper.

In 1958, he wrote a Broadway musical, Goldilocks, which earned two Tony awards. Anderson never wrote another musical, preferring instead to continue writing orchestral miniatures. For his contribution to the recording industry, Leroy Anderson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1620 Vine Street. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 1988 and his music continues to be a staple of "pops" orchestra repertoire.


Original Compositions

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THE CLASSICAL JUKEBOX

by Leroy Anderson
Description: Here is Leroy's famous "take" on the pop tune "Music, Music, Music" by Weiss & Baum... all mixed up with famous classical tunes, and a sticky needle in the Victrola! Newly edited from manuscript with errors corrected, the "stuck" section re-barred for easier playing, and fully engraved for the first time. Premiered and recorded by Leonard Slatkin & The National Symphony in May of 2007.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2+EH[opt]/2+BCl[opt]/2 - 4/3(+opt 4)/3/1 - Timpani, 2 percussion, harp [opt], and strings
Duration:3:00
Rental Fee:$200/+$100/+$50. - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

GOLDILOCKS OVERTURE

by Leroy Anderson
Description: A lost "gem" has now been resurrected at long last! This is the Overture from Leroy Anderson's one-and-only Broadway Show, revised and reorchestrated by the composer, and edited for standard Symphony orchestra by Robert Wendel and approved by the Anderson family. Recorded by Leonard Slatkin in 2008 for Naxos.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - Timpani, Trap Drums, 2 percussion, harp [opt], and strings
Duration:4:35
Rental Fee:$200/+$100/+$50 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

THE PUSSY FOOT BALLET from GOLDILOCKS

by Leroy Anderson
Description: From Leroy Anderson's only Broadway musical comes this amazing 3-minute romp for orchestra. This piece has become a particular favorite for youth orchestras and all-state concerts.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - Timpani, Trap Drums, 2-3 percussion, and strings
Duration:2:55
Rental Fee:$200/+$100/+$50 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

GOLDILOCKS Suite for Orchestra

by Leroy Anderson
 
Description: This is a terrific "overview" of the Broadway score and its critically acclaimed dance music, from a fox trot to a Viennese Waltz, to a fast paced gallop!
Included Works:
  • Overture  
  • Town House Maxixe  
  • Lady In Waiting Ballet  
  • The Pussy Foot  
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - Timpani, Trap Drums, 2-3 percussion, and strings
Duration:15:00
Rental Fee:$400/+$200/+$100 Rental Only - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

GOLDILOCKS Selections Available for Orchestra Only

by Leroy Anderson
 
Selections:
  • I Never Know When  
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/0 - glock, harp, and strings.
    Duration: 2:40
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

  • Lady In Waiting Ballet  
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - Timpani, 2-3 percussion, harp, and strings.
    Duration: 5:00
    Rental Fee: $200/+$100/+$50 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

  • Lazy Moon  
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/0 - Timpani, 2 percussion, harp, and strings.
    Duration: 2:00
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

  • Shall I Take My Heart?  
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/0 - Timpani, 2 percussion, harp, and strings.
    Duration: 2:35
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

  • The Town House Maxixe  
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - 2-3 percussion, and strings.
    Duration: 3:00
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

Vocal Selections from GOLDILOCKS

by Leroy Anderson
with lyrics by Jean & Walter Kerr and Joan Ford
 
Selections:
  • I Never Know When  
    [Vocal with Orchestra, Range A - c']
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - Trap Drums, 2 percussion, harp, and strings.
    Duration: 2:35
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

  • No One'll Ever Love You  
    [Vocal with Orchestra, Sopr. Range A - f', Bari Range A - (d') F]
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - Trap Drums, 2 percussion, harp, and strings.
    Duration: 2:15
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

  • Save A Kiss
    [Vocal with Orchestra, Range B - e']
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - Trap Drums, 2 percussion, harp, and strings.
    Duration: 2:25
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

  • Shall I Take My Heart  
    [Vocal with Orchestra, Range D - e']
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - Trap Drums, 2 percussion, harp, and strings.
    Duration: 3:45
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

  • Who's Been Sitting In My Chair?  
    [Vocal with Orchestra, Range C - f']
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - Trap Drums, 2 percussion, harp and strings.
    Duration: 2:35
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

From the unfinished musical "Gone With The Wind" - a long hidden gem:

by Leroy Anderson
with lyrics by Ogden Nash. Orchestrated for the first time ever by Robert Wendel at the request of Eleanor Anderson. Now ready for the 75th anniversary of the original film!
 
Selections:
  • This Lovely World [Baritone and/or Mezzo with Orchestra, Range G - e]  
    [Instrumentation is 2/2/2/2 - 4/0/3/1 - 2 percussion, and strings]
    Duration: 2:40 with repeats, 1:40 once through.
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

Vocal Versions Of Anderson Hits!

by Leroy Anderson
with lyrics by Mitchell Parish
 
Selections:
  • Belle Of The Ball [Sop & Bari with Orch, Range F - a flat'(Sop) and C - f' (Bari)]  
    [Instrumentation is 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/3/1 - 2 percussion, and strings]
    Duration: 2:55
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

  • Blue Tango [Soprano with Orchestra, Range C - g']  
    [Instrumentation is 2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/2/1 - 2 percussion, and strings]
    Duration: 2:30
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).
  • Forgotten Dreams [Vocal with Orchestra, Range A - f#'] orchestrated by Robert Wendel.  
    [Instrumentation is 2/2/2/2 - 0/0/0/0 - Glock, Piano, and strings]
    Duration: 2:30
    Rental Fee: $180/+$90/+$45 - ($1st perf/+$2nd perf/+$3rd perf or more each).

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