Sunday, July 5, 2009

Nightclub 1960 - Solo Vibraphone

Gary Burton set a high standard when he began to perform Piazzolla's music on the vibraphone but that standard may now have been exceeded by Andrei Pushkarev (you will need to scroll to the bottom of the linked article to read his bio) as demonstrated in today's video of a solo performance of Nightclub 1960 by Mr. Pushkarev. Nightclub 1960 was composed as part of a suite for flute and guitar. It is not unusual to see performances where either the flute or guitar part is taken by a vibraphone but this is the first instance I have heard where both parts are taken simultaneously by a single vibraphone. While not credited in the video, I believe that the arrangement is by Pushkarev himself. Pushkarev was once percussionist in Gidon Kremer's famed Kremerata Baltica and later toured as a duo with Kremer, playing violin-vibraphone duets of Piazzolla's music which he had arranged. Let's hope video or audio recordings of those duo performances will be made available in the future.

Pushkarev moves smoothly between wistful and hopeful moods in the piece and creates a sense of anticipation that riveted me to my screen throughout the performance. That such beautiful music can be created by hitting aluminum alloy bars with rubber balls on sticks is a tribute to the skills and sensitivities of Mr. Pushkarev.

There are two additional Pushkerev videos you may want to enjoy: Fuga y misterio played with the Kremerata Baltica and Jean & Paul played with his Vibe Trio.

You may need to adjust the loudness of your viewing device up to fully appreciate this video - the gain is a bit low in the original.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

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