I don't know how it is that I've gone so long without getting to know this piece. It's from the opera Samson et Delilah and I'm not a huge opera fan or a fan of that particular Bible story, so perhaps that's how I missed it. But I was listening to a collection of random classical music pieces on Google Play Music at work (after I listened to Sister Ray several times of course) and pricked up my ears at this one. It was actually familiar to me, so I must have heard it before, but I never really paid attention to it.
The really great thing about Google Play Music is that you can up-vote a piece and then it's put into a little list of your favorites. So I went around finding different orchestras' version of this piece until I had like seven in a row and then I listened to them one after another. It certainly made the day better.
Like Ravel's Bolero, the song is all about building up to a huge climax. And wow is it. What I love so much about the ending is the big drums - they come in and at least to me sound slightly out of time with the rest of the piece, but then when the other instruments come in they sound perfectly in sync. It's the transition from incoherence to perfect coordination that is such a thrill.
The Symphonic Youth Orchestra of Caracas totally rips it up here.