Dancing: Red, White and Blue Style

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

This weekend, we're cutting a rug on All Ears with music that makes you want to bust a move. Terrance McKnight explores the art of boogie-ing in various musical forms; ones which you may not be as familiar with.

Karol Szymanowski's swinging Mazurka performed by Artur Rubenstein sounds very much like a bastardized version Gymnopedie by Satie.  Mazurkas are polish folk dances, which a lot of people typically associate with Chopin. He did so much to keep that dance alive in music, perhaps more than any other composer. But Symanowski proved to continue the mazurka tradition into the early 20th century with more than 20 pieces with the title.

Andrew York's Evening Dance played by Christopher Parkening is a little waltz for the classical guitar. And Lukas Foss's Central Park Reels features a hint and a certain twang of square dancing.

We also looked for other American dances that made their mark in music, like the Cakewalk, an American dance that originated as a slave-dancing contest. The slave owners would choose a winner of a couples dance, and award them with a cake. New York native Coleridge Taylor Perkinson's Louisiana Blues Strut (A Cakewalk) is performed by violinist Ashley Horne.

Also on the program is Maurice Ravel's Piano Trio in A minor.  It's heavily influenced by his fascination with American culture. Listen for the strings and piano almost slow-dancing and swaying with each other.

Rounding out the program are Luigi Boccherini's Minuet in E from String Quintet in E, Duke Ellington's It Don’t Mean a Thing, and Kurt Weill's Foxtrot Potpourri from his Threepenny Opera.


Karol Szymanowski: Mazurkas, op. 50

Artur Rubenstein, piano



Andrew York: Evening Dance

Christopher Parkening, guitar



Edgar Meyer: Old Tyme

Edgar Meyer, double bass

Mike Marshall, mandolin

Bela Fleck, banjo



Lukas Foss: Central Park Reels

Lukas Foss, piano

Philippe Quint, violin



Mark O’Connor: Johnny Appleseed Suite

Colorado Symphony Orchestra

Marin Alsop, conductor

Mark O’Connor, violin

John Jarvis, piano

Bryan Sutton, mandolin

Omac Records


Luigi Boccherini: Minuet in E from String Quintet in E

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Sir Neville Marriner, conductor



Coleridge Taylor Perkinson: Louisiana Blues Strut (A Cakewalk)

Ashley Horne, violin



John Adams: The Chairman Dances – foxtrot for orchestra



Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera: Foxtrot Potpourri

Das Palast Orchester

H.K. Gruber, conductor



Roy Alfred, Andy Gibson: The Hucklebuck

Louis Armstrong, trumpet

At the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, January 30, 1951

Decca Jazz


Maurice Ravel: Piano Trio in A minor

Artur Rubenstein, piano

Jascha Heifetz, violin

Gregor Piatigorsky, cello



Alone Now: Live Maria Roggen & T. Dahl

Live Maria Roggen, voice

Lars Andreas Haug, tuba

Curling Legs


Edward K. (Duke) Ellington: It Don’t Mean a Thing

Canadian Brass



George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue


Comments [2]

Steven Fraccaro

Great show. But who was playing the two piano arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue that closed the segment?

May. 27 2012 01:53 AM
Michael Meltzer

Super program tonight. One otherewise irrelevant comment, "The Chairman Dances" is too fast for a foxtrot, it's really a Peabody.

May. 26 2012 11:16 PM

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