Monday, July 6, 2009

The Harmonica, Seriously

Harmonicas have appeared in this blog before - both in the hands of virtuosi and otherwise. Today's video features a serious harmonica player, José Staneck. Mr. Staneck has a masters degree in music from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and is director of the prestigious music school, Musiarte, in Rio. In 2006, he recorded a solo album of serious music composed for the harmonica, including a piece by Villa-Lobos. He is also a composer of music for the harmonica and you will hear one of his pieces on his MySpace page.

In today's video he joins Ricardo Santoro on cello and Flávio Augusto on piano to perform Primavera Porteñas. The harmonica may provide the novelty in this video but the attractiveness of the music lies more in the beautiful playing of Santoro, whose rounded and mellow style reminds me of the richness of Fernando Suarez Paz, and the more than capable Augusto on piano. You will find this duo on other videos on YouTube. I particularly commend their performance of Villa-Lobos's O Canto do Cisne Negro where Mr. Augusto's skills are quite apparent.

However, if it is the harmonica that is of interest, you may wish to also view the performance videos of Invierno Porteño and Meditango, both of which feature Staneck and his harmonica.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

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