100 Olympic composers!

Jeremy Pound investigates the classical music of countries competing at the Games

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Here’s what seemed like a good idea at the time. When the Olympic clock announced ‘100 days to go’, I had a thought: why not mark the lead up to the Games by choosing a piece of classical music from 100 different competing countries, and featuring one per day on Twitter? Could be fun…?

Colleagues agreed, and the atlas was dragged off the shelves. The rules were simple. To make things a little bit more challenging, each piece had to be written in the Western classical tradition – so no jazz, folk or pop – and national anthems were strictly banned. Plus, there had to be a sound clip of it on the web, so we could share it.

When it came to determining nationality, Olympic rules applied – someone was born in, hailed from or lived in a country – that qualified them to represent it.

And here, 100 days later, is how things panned out. There were some wonderful discoveries on the way – Iceland, Haiti and Algeria instantly spring to mind – while for some of the classical music ‘heavyweights’, we decided to look beyond the obvious. For each choice, simply click on the link to have a listen.

Of course, we didn’t cover all of the Olympic nations, as there are over 200 of them. So, if anyone from, say, Kiribati, Andorra or Papua New Guinea is put out that their country doesn’t get a mention, we can only apologise… And do feel free to send us a link!

100 (18 April)
Spain
Falla: El amor brujo

99 (19 April)
Canada
Mathieu: Rhapsodie Romantique

98 (20 April)
Armenia
Khachaturian: Piano Concerto

97 (21 April)
Iceland
Sveinbjörnsson: Piano Trios

96 (22 April)
New Zealand
Lilburn: Symphonies

95 (23 April)
Bulgaria
Tabakova: Whispered Lullaby

94 (24 April)
Guatemala
Samayoa: La Estatua Ridicula

93 (25 April)
Belgium
Obrecht: Missa Caput

92 (26 April)
Syria
Malek Jandali: Echoes from Ugarit

91 (27 April)
Japan
Takemitsu: Arc

90 (28 April)
Russia
Glazunov: Symphony No. 5

89 (29 April)
Montenegro
Jovan Milosevic: More, vrcaj konja, Cerim Abdul ago!

88 (30 April)
Bahamas
Cleophas Adderley: Missa Caribe

87 (1 May)
Monaco
Schreker: Prelude to a Drama

86 (2 May)
Bosnia
Dino Residbegovic: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

85 (3 May)
Switzerland
Honegger: Rugby

84 (4 May)
South Africa
Joubert: Symphony No. 1

83 (5 May)
Latvia
Vasks: Plainscapes

82 (6 May)
Macedonia
Pande Shahov: In Struga

81 (7 May)
Argentina
Ginastera: String Quartets

80 (8 May)
Poland
Karlowicz: Eternal Songs

79 (9 May)
Panama
Roque Cordero: Rapsodia Panamena

78 (10 May)
Cyprus
Yannis Kyriakides: a conSPIracy cantata

77 (11 May)
Faeroe Islands
Sunleif Rasmussen: Skaerur Vindur

76 (12 May)
India
Shirish Korde: Tenderness of Cranes

75 (13 May)
Norway
Grieg: Holberg Suite

74 (14 May)
Philippines
Angel Matias Pena: Iyo Kailan Pa Man

73 (15 May)
Ukraine
Gliere: Harp Concerto

72 (16 May)
Chile
Orego-Salas: Clarinet Sextet

71 (17 May)
Turkey
Saygun: Violin Concerto

70 (18 May)
Hungary
Kodaly: Dances of Galanta

69 (19 May)
El Salvador
Carlos Colón Quintana: Overture for a Martyr

68 (20 May)
Ireland
Stanford: Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in G

67 (21 May)
Uganda
Justinian Tamusuza: Ekkivvulu Ky Endere

66 (22 May)
South Korea
Unsuk Chin: Xi

65 (23 May)
Denmark
Langgaard: Music of the Spheres

64 (24 May)
Ecuador
Gerardo Guevara: Fiesta

63 (25 May)
Lithuania
Cui: Preludes, Op. 64

62 (26 May)
Iraq
Salem Abdul Karem: Qatar Symphony

61 (27 May)
Malaysia
Jessica Cho: Landscape

60 (28 May)
Italy
Respighi: Suite for Strings

59 (29 May)
Tunisia
Jalloul Ayed: Hannibal Barca Symphony

58 (30 May)
Venezuela
Castellanos: Santa Cruz de Pacairigua

57 (31 May)
Egypt
Omar Khairat: The Storm

56 (1 June)
Haiti
Justin Elie: Legende Creole

55 (2 June)
Czech Republic
Martinů: Symphonies

54 (3 June)
Nigeria
Samuel Ekpe Akpabot: Three Nigerian Dances

53 (4 June)
Moldova
Arkady Luxemburg: Spring Melodies

52 (5 June)
Lebanon
Naji Hakim: Theotokos

51 (6 June)
Holland
Röntgen: Symphony No. 3

50 (7 June)
USA
Ives: First Symphony

49 (8 June)
Nicaragua
José de la Cruz Mena: Rosalia

48 (9 June)
Malta
Camilleri: Malta Suite

47 (10 June)
Mexico
Moncayo: Huapango

46 (11 June)
Australia
Peter Sculthorpe: Quamby

45 (12 June)
Sweden
Stenhammar: First Piano Concerto

44 (13 June)
North Korea
Ahn Eak-tai: Korea Fantasy

43 (14 June)
Georgia
Kancheli: Symphony No. 1

42 (15 June)
Costa Rica
Gutierrez: Pavane

41 (16 June)
Singapore
Phoon Yew Tien: Ping-Diao

40 (17 June)
Bolivia
Chavarria: Alegrese la tierra

39 (18 June)
Taiwan
Shih-Hui Chen: 66 Times

38 (19 June)
Slovenia
Jakob Handl: Moralia

37 (20 June)
Brazil
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras

36 (21 June)
Austria
Haydn: Quartet Op. 33, No. 2, ‘The Joke’

35 (22 June)
Romania
Enescu: Violin Sonata No. 3

34 (23 June)
Luxembourg
Alexander Müllenbach: Dream Music

33 (24 June)
Azerbaijan
Fikret Amirov: Azerbaijan Capriccio

32 (25 June)
Colombia
Luis Antonio Escobar: Flute Concerto

31 (26 June)
Albania
Tish Daija: Over the Highland Pastures

30 (27 June)
Finland
Sibelius: The Wood-Nymph

29 (28 June)
Israel
Noam Sheriff: Psalms of Jerusalem

28 (29 June)
Lesotho
JP Mohapeloa: Nonyana Senyamafi

27 (30 June)
Serbia
Aleksandra Vrebalov: ...hold me, neighbor, in this storm...

26 (1 July)
Paraguay
Agustin Barrios: La Catedral

25 (2 July)
Portugal
Cardoso: Requiem

24 (3 July)
Madagascar
François Bayle: Morceaux de ceils

23 (4 July)
Belarus
Isadore Freed: Invocation for organ

22 (5 July)
Thailand
Dnu Huntrakul: Tung Saeng Tong

21 (6 July)
Mongolia
E Choidog: Friendship Overture

20 (7 July)
Slovakia
Moyzes: Symphony No. 1

19 (8 July)
Tajikistan
Benjamin Yusupov: Cello Concerto

18 (9 July)
Germany
Brahms: Fourth Symphony

17 (10 July)
Hong Kong
Thomas Oboe Lee: Stabat Mater

16 (11 July)
Peru
Celso Garrido-Lecca: Cello Concerto

15 (12 July)
Greece
Skalkottas: 36 Greek Dances

14 (13 July)
Cuba
Leo Brouwer: Estudios Sencillos

13 (14 July)
Croatia
Ivo Josepovic: Ars Diaboli

12 (15 July)
Indonesia
Soe Tjen Marching: Angen

11 (16 July)
China
Tan Dun: Symphony 1997

10 (17 July)
France
Dupré: Prelude & Fugue in B major

9 (18 July)
Morocco
Maurice Ohana: String Quartets

8 (19 July)
Liechtenstein
Rheinberger: Organ Concerto No. 1

7 (20 July)
Bermuda
Gabriel Jackson: Sanctum Est Verum Lumen

6 (21 July)
Uruguay
José Serebrier: Second Symphony

5 (22 July)
Estonia
Arvo Pärt: Stabat Mater

4 (23 July)
Algeria
Marc Eychenne: Cantilene et danse

3 (24 July)
Sao Tomé & Principe
José Vianna da Motta: Valsa caprichiosa

2 (25 July)
Jamaica
Eleanor Alberga: Dancing with the Shadow suite

1 (26 July)
Britain
Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony