What are some classical songs inspired by actual places?

I'm making a bucket list of specific places which inspired classical composers, such as Mendelssohn's 'The Hebrides' (Fingals Cave) or Smetanas 'Vltava' after the river in Prague. 

There are dozens of compositions on elements of nature, i.e. the seasons, water, trees etc. but are there other compositions about places?

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    In addition to what Mike said, there are these:

    "Escales" by Jacques Ibert contains movements titled Palermo, Tunis, and Valencia.

    Eric Coates wrote "London Suite" and "London Again Suite".

    Malcolm Arnold wrote sets of "English Dances", "Scottish Dances", "Cornish Dances", "Irish Dances", and "Welsh Dances".

    Johann Strauss Jr. wrote several waltzes about Vienna, including "Vienna Blood" and "Tales from the Vienna Woods".

    John Philip Sousa wrote a "Manhattan Beach March" for the park in Brooklyn, and "The Washington Post" for the newspaper in DC.

    Alan Hovhaness wrote a "Mount St. Helens Symphony", his fiftieth.

    Aaron Copland wrote "El Salón México" referring to a dance hall in Mexico City.

    George Gershwin wrote a "Cuban Overture".

    Frederick Delius wrote a "Florida Suite".

    Arthur Benjamin wrote "Jamaican Rumba".

    Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote a "Sinfonia antartica", commemorating Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to the South Pole.

    Ottorino Respighi wrote several tone poems about Rome, including "Pines of Rome", "Fountains of Rome" and "Roman Festivals".  He also wrote "Impressioni brasiliane" after a visit to South America.

    Jean Sibelius wrote "Finlandia".

    Joaquín Rodrigo wrote "Concierto de Aranjuez" referring to the city south of Madrid.

    Manuel de Falla wrote "Nights in the Gardens of Spain", the first movement of which

    refers to the hillside gardens near the Moorish Alhambra palace complex in Granada.

    George Enescu wrote Rumanian rhapsodies -- the first is most famous.


    Zoltán Kodály wrote "Dances of Galánta" after a town currently in Slovakia.

    Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov wrote two "Caucasian Sketches" -- the first is more famous.

    Douglas Lilburn wrote an overture "Aotearoa" about New Zealand.

    Gaspar Sanz wrote "Canarios" for classical guitar, referring to the Canary Islands.

    Fela Sowande wrote an "African Suite" for string orchestra.

    José Pablo Moncayo wrote "Huapango", referring to a dance peculiar to northeastern Mexico.

    If you include extraterrestrial places, there's "The Planets" by Gustav Holst.

    [You can listen to most of these on YouTube.]

    [Because of Smetana's music, my own bucket list used to include actually seeing the Vltava, which I did in '99 from the Vyšehrad Cemetery in Prague, where I also saw the graves of Smetana, Dvorak, and Fučík.]

  • Mike
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Siegfried's Rhine Journey, the Grand Canyon Suite, an American in Paris, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen

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