Monday, September 21, 2009

Rodolfo Mederos - Adios Nonino

"Were Bach to be born again, he would surely be a bandoneon player." This statement, I believe, can be attributed to Rodolfo Mederos, one of the most revered and respected masters of the bandoneon alive today. As a very young bandoneon player, Mederos was "discovered" by Piazzolla. On Piazzolla's advice, Mederos abandoned the study of biology at the University of Córdoba and pursued a career in music. Piazzolla was clearly supportive: an octet that young Mederos had put together was invited to share the stage with Piazzolla's octet - an opening act, in today's parlance. According to the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, when Mederos' bandoneon was once stolen, Piazzolla loaned him one of his and then refused its return or payment for it. In 1970, Piazzolla and three other bandoneonist, one of whom was Mederos, recorded Enrique Delfino's Recuerdos de bohemia. Some believe that performance represents the pinnacle of performance on the bandoneon and I would not disagree. That performance and four bandoneon solos by Piazzolla are available on the CD, Concierto para quinteto.

But Mederos was never a disciple of Piazzolla. He went his own way. He became a master of traditional tango, playing with Osvaldo Pugliese’s orchestra. He created his own revolutionary sound in the group Generación Cero with roots but not branches in tango. He continues today to compose, to arrange, to teach and to perform for audiences who treat him with the awe once reserved for Piazzolla. And in those performances, as captured in today's video, he often pays tribute to Piazzolla with a performance of Adios Nonino. As always, he plays Adios Nonino his way but the respect and honor he holds for Piazzolla is apparent.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

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