A playlist to relax by the pool

KUSC is here to help you get the most out of your summer. So we asked our guests to recommend music for some iconic California summer experiences. Whether you’re sipping iced tea by the pool, filling up the kiddie pool, or just dreaming of diving into the depths of your feet, Brian Lauritzen’s playlist is the perfect soundtrack for lounging by the pool.

Maurice Ravel: Jeux d’eau

Okay, technically the meaning of this title is “Fountain”, rather than the more literal translation of “Water Games”, and maybe both are a bit on the nose for a classical music pool track, but this music is totally in the splash area.

Strauss, Jr. (arr. Desenne) Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka “Triqui Traqui”

You said party, right? This is Viennese … until it is. Venezuelan composer Paul Desenne added a lot of Latin swing to this previously buttoned polka.

Meredith MonkEon

This is a contemplative moment of a larger dance work on climate change called “On Behalf of Nature”. A duet for bass clarinet and vibraphone that proves to be able to find beauty in the most unexpected places.

Joseph Haydn: String Quartet in C major op. 20, no. 2

Overall, the six op. 20 string quartets are known as the “Sun” quartets, making them perfect for an afternoon lounging by the pool. Sure, they’re actually known as the “Sun” quartets because the publisher put a picture of a sunrise on the title page of the score, but that doesn’t make them any less perfect for basking in the sun.

George Frederic Handel: Shadow Mai Fu

After one of the “Sole” quartets with an air that exalts the virtues of shadow? Sure why not!

Dana Suesse: Concert in three rhythms

If you like Gershwin’s Rhapsody in blue, you owe it to yourself to give this piece a spin. It was written for the same concert (albeit a later iteration) as Rhapsody in blue and orchestrated by the composer himself (Ferde Grofé) of the Gershwin classic. And it’s a great way to end a classic summer poolside playlist.

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Brian Lauritzen

Brian Lauritzen is the weekday afternoon host on Classical KUSC and the host of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s nationally syndicated radio broadcasts.