Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tango Suite on Marimbas

In 1984, Piazzolla wrote Tango Suite for two guitars. It was specifically written for the Assad brothers who recorded it in their album, Sergio and Odair Assad Play Piazzolla. The Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, quotes the Assad's as regarding the suite as "a landmark in the history of guitar duos" and indeed you will find any number of guitar duos who have recorded Tango Suite. You will also find a number of YouTube videos which feature Tango Suite being played on marimbas or vibraphones. Most (but not all) of these are based on a transcription done by Kevin Super, a professor of music at Liberty University. Today's videos are based on that arrangement and are performed by Thomas Wilson and Grace Welter as part of Wilson's Junior Recital at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It is an exceptionally sensitive performance - note the well modulated dynamic and tempo variations - and an exceptionally well coordinated performance. Wilson and Welter stay in perfect synchronization and both appear to be playing the entire piece from memory - quite a feat.

I have included the videos for all three movements of the suite but if you only have time to view one, I recommend the second movement, played as a vibraphone - marimba duet which works exceptionally well.

If the videos do not appear below, click these: 1. Deciso; 2. Andante; 3. Allegro.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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