Friday Afternoon Jukebox: We Three Kings. Or Chief Executives, Anyway.
Henry VIII was the first of three European chief executives who were also at least somewhat notable composers of music. It is often and falsely claimed that he composed “Greensleeves.” But he did write these two:
Frederick the Great was of course the king of Prussia, an “enlightened” despot, and an even better composer:
The third leader is relatively obscure today, although he does have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame…
That would be Ignacy Jan Paderewski. He was not a king but the prime minister of the Republic of Poland and head of the Polish parliament in exile during World War II. He is also one of my favorite composers:
I could listen to Paderewski all day long. The most admirable of the three.
When I mentioned my plans for this post, Boegiboe pointed out that the other side of the world also boasts a composing monarch, Lili’uokalani, the last queen of Hawai’i: