The three-movement suite Nostalgic Dances was inspired by experiences Zaninelli had as a pianist during the second world war, playing waltzes, fox trots, polkas, rhumbas, square dances, cha-chas, tarantellas, etc.
Genre: Soloist(s) with Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 10
Level: Medium Ens / Difficult Solo | Duration: 9:00
Percussion 1 [2 Players] (Suspended Cymbal, Crash Cymbal, Woodblock, Tam-Tam)
Percussion 2 [2 Players] (Snare Drum, Woodblock, Bass Drum]
At the age of 12, I began playing in small dance orchestras. The second world war was raging and pianists were in short supply. What I lacked in skill, I attempted to make up for with brash enthusiasm. I was called to play for all kinds of events. I would learn to play jazz “hot” and “cool” and a variety of dance forms. I played waltzes, fox trots, polkas, rhumbas, square dances, cha-chas, and, of course, tarantellas. I loved to look out, as I played, and watch the dancers swirl by. Their faces would beam with joy as they, for a little while, attempted to forget the war which dominated our lives. Nostalgic Dances represents, for me, what remains in my musical memory of those bittersweet years. The dancers may be gone, but when I close my eyes I can still hear the music.