Friday, November 6, 2009

Jorge Adiós - Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi

I can't explain the bare feet. Nor the waving of the leg which reminds me of nothing more than a dog approaching a fire hydrant. No one wrings more emotion from the music of Astor Piazzolla than Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi and if these idiosyncrasies are the secret of his success, then I encourage more musicians to give it a try. Mario appears frequently on YouTube - at least sixteen times this year - and almost all appearances are Piazzolla performances. Sometimes on bandoneón - sometimes on accordion. His technical capabilities on both instruments are very high. It's not Piazzolla, but I encourage you to take a look this early accordion performance to view his skills sans histrionics.

Pietrodarchi does not pretend to be a porteño. He mines Piazzolla's music for emotion not tango. Thus he tends to favor pieces such as Oblivion and Milonga del angel which have a natural lyric beauty. Mining that same vein, he has turned to Jorge adiós for today's video. This is not a well known piece. In fact, this is the first time it has appeared on YouTube and, to my knowledge, it has never been recorded by anybody other than Piazzolla. It is music from a 1976 movie, Il pleut sur Santiago (Rain Over Santiago). The movie makes a powerful statement about a difficult period in Argentine history and contains some of Piazzolla's most haunting melodies. The sound track is available in the reissue CD, Il Pleut Sur Santiago.

In the original version, Jorge adiós is a piano-accompanied duet between Piazzolla's bandoneón and Antonio Agri's violin with drums and a bass in the back. In the version today, the violin parts are moved to Enzo De Rosa's piano or taken as solo's on Pietrodarchi's bandoneón. It works, but the piece loses much of the beauty which was created by the intricate interaction of violin and bandoneón in the original. I am thankful that Pietrodarchi and De Rosa have reintroduced this composition to the world and hope that it will inspire someone to recover the original arrangement or to make a new bandoneón, violin and piano arrangement which would make this piece soar.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

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