classical pacific

Today I've again chosen great performances for your listening pleasure, including a theme and variations for one piano, a sonata for two pianos, a concerto for three pianos, a quartet by Prokofiev, an early performance by Itzhak Perlman, a great recording of Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, and a Vivaldi sonata for cello. I also just received a new recording of the Fauré Requiem that is marvelous.

Today I'll be sharing music by men and women, many of whom are related to each other in some way. You'll be hearing compositions by Thecla Badarszewska, Felix Mendelsson, Fanny Hensel (née Mendelssohn-Bartoldy), Hector Berlioz, Gustav Mahler, Alma Mahler, Clara Wieck Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Amy Beach. Makan will be joining us live on air in the four o'clock hour, to talk about his upcoming concert with the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra of love songs from around the world. He may also play some music for us live in the studio. 

Today the new  program is filled with great performances. Please join me to hear works by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Elgar, Hindemith and Fauré performed by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Performers include Jean-Pierre Rampal, Isaac Stern, Salvatore Accardo, Mstislav Rostropovich, the Juilliard String Quartet, the NBC Orchestra with Arturo Toscanini, Jacqueline du Pré, Daniel Barenboim, the Guarneri Quartet, the Philadelphia Orchestra with Euguene Ormandy, Victoria de los Angeles, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and André Cluytens. 

Through the centuries, Classical composers have integrated folk song and dance into their music. Today, we'll look at a range of works by composers referencing folk music and dance in their music, including Georg Friedrich Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach, Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms, Bedrich Smetana, Marie-Joseph Canteloube de Malaret, Bright Sheng, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin. Join me.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Email me.

Upcoming Concerts: 

Today we will look at chamber music with a somewhat historical eye and ear.  During the Renaissance, most intimate music was written for voice and accompaniment. By the Baroque era, music was often written in a way that allowed various instrumental combinations, depending on what was available. Eventually, the Trio Sonata was popular. Keyboard players were trained in performing from a figured bass, adding the chord tones and ornamentations. 

Today I've split the three hour program into three distinct sections. In the first hour, I'll focus on piano music - solo and ensemble. In the second hour, I'll talk about new music with visiting artists Mike Truesdell and Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, and about their upcoming concert at Orvis Auditorium on Friday. You'll have a chance to hear new music with informed commentary. In the third hour, music of Brahms and Bach. It should be a lively and interesting day, with some lessons on opening your ears to new sounds.

The Pullitzer Prize for Music is given annually to a composer, since 1943, and is designated "for a distinguished musical composition of significant dimension by an American that has had its first performance in the United States during the year." Today, I'm going to share some of the composers with you. Some, like Gian Carlo Menotti and Samuel Barber, received the prize more than once.  

HPR receives new CDs regularly, and I've recently had the time to pick through them and choose music from the 17th through the 21st century to sample for you. Join me for music of Rameau, Saint-Saëns, Ung, Copland, Pandolfi, Kang, Osborne, Bach, Britten and the prolific Anonymous. Perhaps you'll like one of the pieces enough to get one of the CDs yourself. 

Questions? Comments? Email me

Upcoming Concerts: 

Photo from Paul Barrett's profile on the UH website

Paul Barrett passed away last weekend. He was the principal bassoonist of the Honolulu/Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra for many years, and taught generations of students at the University of Hawai‘i beginning in 1978. Paul was instrumental in getting my non-profit El Sistema-inspired music program Kalikolehua started, and he and his bassoon were a big hit with the students. Paul was a gifted musician and a wonderful friend to many people. He will be greatly missed. In his memory, I'm focusing this program mostly on the bassoon today.

Today - Song and Dance. You'll be hearing arias, ballet suites and Broadway music. Join me to sing and dance with Puccini, Pellini, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, Prokofiev, Beethoven, Dvorák, Sondheim, Bernstein, Gershwin, Harold Arlen and MORE!  

Questions? Comments? Email me.

Last week I featured the cello in the first hour of a program, and a listener asked if I might do the same for the viola. So here we are. Today, music of stringed instruments, beginning with the viola. You'll also hear lots of piano music, and some chamber ensembles. Join me to hear some great performers, including William Primrose, Kim Kashkashian, Nobuko Imai and Yuri Bashmet - viola; Vladimir Ashkenazy, Rosalyn Tureck, Martha Argerich, Mitsuko Uchida and Murray Perahia - piano; and excellent chamber music.  

Music today from composers living and dead. Some you will know, some you may not. I look forward to sharing Richard Harvey, Charles Ives, Mozart, Dvorák, Andrew Norman, Handel, Piazzola, and a Bach-inspired salsa band. You may find some new composers to add to your list of favorites. 

Questions? Concerns? Email me.

Today, everything you will hear has a relationship to the letter B, either the name of the composer, performer conductor, piece of music, or something more esoteric. The letter B holds a lot of weight in Classical Music! Join me, and listen to Johannes Brahms, Johann Sebastian Bach, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Barenboim, Samuel Barber, and Brian Balmages.

Questions? Comments? Email me

Marc Chagall

Today in the first hour, music involving birds (the cuckoo, the hen, the lark) by Frederick Delius, Joseph Haydn, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Siamak Aghaei; in the second hour, music involving beasts and other creatures (a witch, a gryphon, a wood-nymph, a banshee, and Frankenstein!) by Hector Berlioz, Mason Bates, Jean Sibelius, Henry Cowell and Patrick Doyle; in the third hour, music involving people related to each other by Clara Wieck Schumann, Richard Schumann and Scott Wollschleger. 

Comments? Questions? Email me.

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Monday, July 31st  on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

Today, we dive deeply into music of Jules Massenet, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and Mili Balakirev. We’ll also hear a wonderful orchestral suite from the musical, Carrousel.  What all these artists and the music we’ll hear have in common is a rich imagery that cracks  the imagination of the listener wide open. Massenet wrote music for the ballet and you can hear why he was in demand when you listen to four of his works today.

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Wednesday, July 26th  on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

We continue our celebration of Seiji Ozawa and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with music of Beethoven and Schubert. Yo Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax perform a wonderful sonata by Brahms. We’ll have another fascinating installment of “Passage to the Middle Kingdom” featuring a segment on the “Dizi”, followed by a haunting concerto by the Central Broadcasting Folk Orchestra of Beijing. Join us!

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Friday, July 14th,  2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Tuesday, July 11th,  2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Friday, July 7th,  2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

Today on Classical Pacific,  we will celebrate music of Chopin, Grieg, and Dvorak. You will be absolutely transported by  pianist, Seong - Jin Cho and the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra number 1 in E Minor opus 11." He was only 21 years old that the time of that recording.

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Thursday July 6th , 2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

Today on Classical Pacific, we will delve deeply into music of Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius. We’ll hear the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande performing “Four Legends from the Kalevala,” “Finlandia” and “Karelia Suite.”

Leonard Bernstein takes us on a journey with “Harold en Italie” by Berlioz.

We’ll also enjoy several “Bacchianas Brasileiras” by Villa Lobos!

Pack your bags! No passport needed.

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Wednesday, July 5h , 2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

Today on Classical Pacific, we’ll hear the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Igor Golovschin, performing several works of Balakirev. We’ll also hear François-Joël Thiollier on piano performing works of Ravel. Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Herbert von Karajan will perform Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor opus 64. We’ll also hear from Ravel and Verdi. Join us at 3 PM Hawaii time on HPR 2.

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Tuesday, July 4th , 2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

Today on Classical Pacific we’ll enjoy music of some of America’s great composers, including, Gershwin, Grofé,  William Grant Still (the Dean of African American composers), Copland, and Rogers and Hammerstein. This is a day to celebrate those who had the grit to build the United States into the nation she is today. We also celebrate those who made countless sacrifices to make their way to our country, and  we celebrate those who sacrificed life and limb  to protect our freedoms.

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Monday, July 3rd, 2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

Today on Classical Pacific we’ll hear music of Schumann, Borodin, Rachmaninoff, and Ketelbey. Tomorrow, we’ll enjoy music of some of America’s great composers, including, Gershwin, Grofé, Still, Copland, and Rogers and Hammerstein. Don’t miss it...take HPR with you to the beach or the back yard!

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Thursday, June 30th , 2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

Today on Classical Pacific we’ll hear Frans Vester on flute, accompanied by the Mozart Ensemble,  performing two flute concertos by Mozart. We’ll also hear Evgeny Kissin performing several pieces from his début concert at Carnegie Hall. And, to tickle your funny bone, we’ll hear some old faves by Leroy Anderson, performed by the Rochester Pops under the direction of Erich Kunzel.

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Thursday, June 23rd , 2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

Today, to round out the week, we’re going to hear the Academy of Ancient Music performing several Suites by Bach. The Orchestre National de l’Opera de Monte Carlo will chime in with several works by Rossini. Next week, we hope to unveil another installment of the Big Ears Music Club, a segment that brings together young folks, family and music educators to celebrate the love of fine music. Stay tuned for updates!

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Tuesday, June 20th on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

Today is a Massenet and Grieg kind of day, don’t you think? We are going to hear the New Zealand Symphony orchestra performing several orchestral suites by Massenet. We’ll also hear Julian Lloyd Webber on cello and Bengt Forsberg on piano  performing “Sonata for Cello and Piano in A minor op. 36 by Edward Grieg. We’ll hear the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra performing Grieg’s “Symphony in C minor.” And, as always, there will be a few surprises.  

John C. Zak
John C. Zak

Welcome to Classical Pacific for Monday, June 19th on HPR 2. I’m your host, John Zak.  

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Father’s Day weekend. I am not a dad myself but I had the joy of partaking in a Father’s Day gathering in Maunawili. The grilling was fantastic, including seared ahi with a wasabi sauce. Good job, Ivan and Eri.  Another notable event was the return of Hokule’a. What an incredible voyage. Congratulations to her crew and all the support team members who made the world voyage happen!

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