Ken Zahnle Playlist
Thank you for your gift to Tri States Public Radio. As promised, here is the special playlist that Ken has curated for you.
“I’ve always found samplers and the juxtapositions they can bring to the table a great way to highlight performances. So, I’ve humbly submitted, for your approval, this wide-ranging little sampler of a playlist.” - Ken Zahnle
Colas Breugnon (Overture) - Boston Pops & John Williams - Dmitri Kabalevsky is often overlooked and undervalued, labeled a Soviet party man, but he was still capable of dashing off a sparkling gem like this.
Earle of Oxford’s March - Canadian Brass - William Byrd was one of Elizabeth I’s favored composers… so favored that she overlooked his Catholicism. Here an expanded version of the Canadian Brass (comprised of multiple generations of members of the famed quintet) takes up Byrd’s stately march.
Arabesque No.1 - Pascal Rogé - Claude Debussy provides us with, perhaps, one of the most relaxing things ever.
Finale from Symphony No.1 “Classical” - Chamber Orchestra of Europe - Sergei Prokofiev chose the familiar form of the Haydn-era symphony for his first foray into composing away from the piano… but at the same time, still left us with pure Prokofiev.
Si habrá en este baldrés? - Piffaro - This spiffy tune by Juan del Encina gives the renaissance wind band Piffaro a chance to stretch out with almost all of their arsenal of ancient double reeds, simple flutes, and early strings… with percussion to spare.
Scherzo from Piano Quintet in f minor Op.34 - Andreas Schiff & The Takacs Quartet - Johannes Brahms wrote chamber music of symphonic scale and grandeur… and this scherzo is just as arresting as any movement from his symphonies.
Zapateado - Jason Vieaux - Spanish guitarist Gaspar Sáinz de la Maza was the dedicatee and first performer of the most famous guitar concerto of all - Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez - but he was also a fine composer in his own right. This example comes from a favorite album of encore-grade pieces, Play.
Allegro maestoso from Piano Concerto No.3 in c-sharp minor Op.55 - Christopher Hinterhuber & Gävle Symphony Orchestra - Regular listeners know I’m a bit of a crusader for Beethoven’s home town friend, student, and assistant Ferdinand Ries. If you love Beethoven… you’ll like Ries.
The Bells of Sainte-Geneviéve - Musica Antiqua Köln - Viol virtuoso Marin Marais left us with perhaps the second most famous chaconne… after Pachelbel’s canon… here played by one of the great original instrument ensembles.
The Ragtime Dance - Itzhak Perlman & Andre Previn - two of the greats here playing a violin and piano arrangement of one of Scott Joplin’s best.
March from Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber - San Francisco Symphony Orchestra & Herbert Blomstedt - in answer to a request for a colorful orchestral piece for American audiences, German-in-exile Paul Hindemith responded with, IMHO, one of the most tightly-composed works of the 20th-Century concert hall. All four movements are spectacular, but this march is the best known… and a great closer for this little playlist.