Thursday, November 7, 2013

Classical Musicians Play Balkan Folk Music

Musicians tend to get bored playing the same thing over and over, so I think it's natural to experiment.
Dimebag Darrell

WQXR has been New York City's classical music station since 1936. I began listening to WQXR when I was about 12 years old. If you like classical music, you can listen to this radio station anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection.

Today's post features two videos from the WQXR Cafe Concerts. You don't often find classical musicians playing music from the Balkans (probably because of the unusual rhythms), but there are some adventurous people out there.....

I found the first video by accident when I was searching for different versions of Gankino Horo, a Bulgarian dance tune.

The Canellakis-Brown duo plays it on piano and cello.I was pleasantly surprised since I'm so used to the accordion arrangement by Boris Karlov. They do an amazing job, especially since this is a difficult meter (11/16) for non-Bulgarians to master, and they play it FAST. (I wonder if they're folk dancers?)

The next piece is much slower. Although there is no one singing here, a doina is a Romanian folk song, rather melancholy in nature.  This one was arranged by Grigoras Dinicu. He wrote a number of pieces based on Romanian folk tunes, the most famous being Hora Staccato, a favorite among classical violinists.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Classical Composers Inspired by Balkan Folk Dances

The Legacy of Boris Karlov, Bulgarian Folk Accordionist

Having a Blast With Diko Iliev (Bulgarian composer whose music was based on folklore themes)

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