Repertoire Search

Peter Maxwell Davies

Publisher: Chester Music

Maxwell's Reel, with Northern Lights (1998)
Commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Chester Music Ltd
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
Year Composed
11 Minutes
Buy this work
Worldwide Sales   North American Sales

Programme Note
Peter Maxwell Davies Maxwell's Reel, with Northern Lights (1998)
The reel in question is drawn from a genuine old tune, Maxwell's Strathspey, which the composer found in an 1824 collection of Scottish melodies, and which unfolds at the start of the piece on solo cello. Variations and a bold up-tempo to the quick dance we know as a reel ultimately yield to the magic that has been promised right at the start: the northern lights take over at the end of the piece. Its inspiration comes from a walk to a community event in Hoy Hall, during which Davies saw the lights in the sky pulsing in and out of time with the sounds coming from the hall.

Read about this work at

Preview the score

  • Ensemble
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Stewart McIlwham (picc)
    Peter Maxwell Davies
Close X

Newsletter Signup

Enter your email address to keep up to date with the latest news and special offers from Music Sales Classical.
Your data is secure and you can unsubscribe at any time. Read our Privacy Policy

Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2019 Music Sales Classical. Part of the Music Sales Group.