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The "Olympic Theme" Classical Music

What's that classical music I heard?

The "Olympic Theme" Classical Music

Postby kickassclassical » Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:29 pm

The 2008 Summer Olympics get underway in Beijing on August 8th (that's 08.08.08, whee!) and once again, you'll hear some familiar music.

Hear it: "Bugler's Dream" by Léo Arnaud
Buy It: Amazon mp3
Buy It: iTunes

Did you know this piece has been around for 50 years? And it's been the theme for the Olympic Games for 40 years.

Nicknamed "Olympic Fanfare," this piece was composed by Léo Arnaud, a classically trained French composer and jazz trombonist who moved to Hollywood to make movie music. In 1958, Arnaud was commissioned by fellow film composer Felix Slatkin to create a piece for his battle-themed album "Charge!"

felix-slatkin-charge.jpg (57.95 KiB) Viewed 13686 times
Arnaud went all out and created a full work titled "The Charge Suite," of which "Bugler's Dream" was only a small part - one minute long - and the only part that was included on the album.

Ten years later, ABC bought the rights to "Bugler's Dream," and used it for their coverage of the 1968 Winter Olympics.

Sixteen years after that, the 1984 Olympic organizing committee commissioned composer John Williams to write a new fanfare and theme for the games. "Bugler's Dream" was so closely associated with the Olympics that Williams decided to keep it - as the beginning of his own “Olympic Fanfare and Theme.”

A minute-long piece of music. Of Olympic-sized proportion.

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