30Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) was an American composer with Swedish ancestry. He began working on Sleigh Ride during – of all things – a July heat wave! It was premiered in May 1948 by the Boston Pops Orchestra and has become one of the most popular of all Christmas pieces.
However, according to the composer’s widow, Eleanor, “Leroy didn’t set out to write a Christmas piece when he wrote ‘Sleigh Ride.’ His intentions were to convey the entire winter season through the imagery of a sleigh ride, much in the way that Mozart did with his piece of the same name.”
This clip-clopping, holiday season classic also conveys the sound of the whips to get the horses (or reindeer?) moving – and, of course, sleigh bells (played by the flautist). Towards the end listen out for the sound of a horse whinnying too.
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