143. East Meets West, Via Double Bass
Works for double bass and pipa, performed by DaXun Zhang, double bass, and Yang Wei, pipa.
- Mozart: Turkish March, K. 331/3
- Trad. Chinese: Ancient Battle Field
- Anderson: Four Short Pieces for solo double bass
- Trad. Chinese: Rainbow Dance and Galloping Horses
- Bach: Invention No. 11 and Invention No. 6
- Handel: Passacaglia (trans. Halvorsen)
In this episode of The Concert, we’ll hear how Western classical music interacts with one of the most ancient classical traditions: Chinese classical music. Today’s podcast features three ancient Chinese melodies, performed by bassist DaXun Zhang and pipa player Yang Wei. Ancient Battle Field shows off the full expressive range of the pipa with strumming and plucking techniques designed to evoke everything from the sounds of army drums and horns to the neighing of horses, the shouting of soldiers, and the firing of cannons. Later in the program, Zhang joins on bass in renditions of Rainbow Dance and Galloping Horses (with yet more neighing!). We’ll also hear the two play Western pieces, including Bach’s inventions, Handel’s Passacaglia, and Mozart’s Turkish March. Another highlight is Four Short Pieces, a contemporary work for solo bass by David Anderson which offers a delightful showcase for this incredible bassist’s expressive range—a musicianship that speaks across national boundaries.