The Marco Bellocchio movie Enrico IV which is based on the Luigi Pirandello's play of the same title, contains two of Piazzolla's most beautiful and haunting songs. The movie closes with Oblivion which is Piazzolla's second or third most performed song; but, it also contains a less often performed, but no less beautiful song, Ave Maria. The featured video today is Ave Maria as performed by Peter Soave on solo accordion. There may be no better performance. Soave feels this music and so will you if you pause, get your fingers off the keyboard and close your eyes for the 5'42" it takes this video to play.
Ave Maria was originally known as Tanti Anni Prima and is the theme associated with the Claudia Cardinale role in the movie. If you want to hear it in the context of the movie, you will find it at 4'40" into this video. I suspect the name was changed for commercial reasons by Aldo Pagani, Piazzolla's Italian agent. I must agree the new name fits - Soave's performance does bring to mind a church organ during a meditative moment.
Peter Soave's website describes him as an "accordion and bandoneon virtuoso." This is not hype or exaggeration - it is just a fact. His musical studies began at age five and as a teenager, he won almost every accordion competition in Europe. Perhaps the description of him as "the leading soloist of his generation" might start to touch on hyperbole but he is clearly one of a small number of "go-to" soloists contacted when an orchestra anywhere in the world needs a solo accordionist or bandoneonist. There are quite a few YouTube videos featuring Soave and downloadable tracks from his CD Undertango 2 are available from iTunes and from Amazon.com.
Now, it is time to listen. If the video does not appear below, click here.
To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.