Wednesday, August 12, 2009

White Boots and Chiffon vs. Black Suit and Silver Tie

Antoni Gaudi vs. Mies van der Rohe; Domenico Scarlatti vs. Hildegard; Paris, France vs. Paris, Texas; Oeufs A La Cantalienne vs. eggs over easy - thus it is with Elisa Tomellini vs. Saulo Gama. Two dramatically opposing approaches to the same thing, in this case to Adios Nonino. Elisa and Saulo are both very talented pianists. Elisa plays a rhapsodic version of Adios Nonino which includes many, many notes and much fancy stuff. She plays aggressively and with grace. Saulo plays a stripped down, minimalist version of Adios Nonino which contains almost no "extra" notes. He plays with great control and grace. To the most untrained ear, the contrast will be notable. It is a credit to the quality of Piazzolla's original composition that such dramatically different approaches can both produce wonderful music.

These are musicians with developing careers. Elisa is from Genova, Italy and is a regular on the piano competition circuit where she consistently does well. She plays here a "published" version which is based on the credenza Piazzolla wrote for Dante Amicarelli, a pianist in Piazzolla's first quintet. Saulo is from Salvador de Bahia, Brazil and his path is a little more difficult to track via Google but he appears to share his time between clubs and the concert stage with a focus on the classical music of Latin America. A personal communication with Saulo indicates this is his own arrangement of Adios Nonino.

Which one is better? You decide - they are both posted below.

If the videos do not appear below, click here for Elisa and here for Saulo.

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

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