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The Best Music for the Best Long Weekend

If this were a regular summer, many of us would be enjoying a bit of time away from home. It’s the season for getaways by the water, hiking trips, and outdoor festivals that traditionally bring families, friends, and strangers together to soak in some sunshine. This week, with Canada Day and the Fourth of July holidays upon us, we’re daydreaming about all the ways we usually love to spend our long weekends.

Sadly, this is not a normal summer. We’ve all been cooped up inside, and can definitely use an excuse to see the sun and experience nature. But enjoying the weather responsibly, and keeping a safe social distance can be tricky. With the statutory holidays upon us, we’re thinking about the best things to do over the long weekends this summer.

Did someone say… Road trip?

With all this free time on our hands, now is our chance to hit the open road and explore the world around us from behind the wheel! Everybody needs a change of scenery once in a while, especially after being stuck at home for this prolonged stretch of time. By taking a road trip, you’ll be able to limit who you come in contact with, and get to go on a bit of an adventure at the same time.

No road trip would be complete without a proper, well-stocked musical playlist. We recommend compiling all your favourite classical music before embarking on your excursion, so that you can watch the scenery unfold around you underscored by lively, soul-stirring orchestration.

Need some suggestions? We’ve got great recommendations for you, to make sure your classical music playlist is long enough to accommodate the entire trip.

“Perpetuum mobile,” by Johann Strauss

Like the hypothetical mechanism that continues forever, Strauss’ musical “Perpetuum mobile” has no ending. This “musical joke,” as Strauss calls it, is the perfect lighthearted, airy, and excited romp for a day on the road. Often performed as part of our Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert, it’s an instrumental piece that requires incredibly fine focus and attention to detail from the conductor. You can see so for yourself in this video excerpt from this performance, conducted by the one and only Herbert von Karajan.

“Granada” by Agustín Lara

The signature tune of legendary opera singer José Carreras, this composition about a city in Spain has become a standard in many singers’ repertoires. Last winter, this song was performed in the Eastern United States by Michael Heim, and in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area by Tilmann Unger. Including this number in our concert, with Spanish lyrics by composer Agustín Lara, always spices up the evening with a bit of variety. Including it on your road trip playlist will surely do the same!

“Gold und Silber Walzer” by Franz Lehár

One of our favourites, Franz Lehár’s 1902 composition was commissioned by the Princess Metternich for her Gold and Silver gala ball. Though guests at the event were too wrapped up in their costumes to pay attention to the music performed, shortly after its premiere, this composition quickly became one of the most popular waltzes in Europe. We guarantee it’ll be the most elegant song on your playlist.

“The Blue Danube Waltz” by Johann Strauss

In our opinion, no classical music playlist would be complete without the Blue Danube Waltz. Performed at the end of each Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert, this Strauss waltz carries us away every time we hear it. Listening to just its opening strains is enough to associate your road trip with the majesty of Viennese nature.

Once you’ve finished creating your own classical music playlist for the road, all you have to do is pack a lunch, turn up the air conditioning, and make sure you’ve got plenty of hand sanitizer!

Buckle up, stay safe, enjoy the ride -- and the music!


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