Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kazuma Miura

Kazuma Miura is one of the youngest and most exciting bandoneón players on the current scene. He is 19 years old and began playing bandoneón at the age of ten. He has studied under the Argentine master, Néstor Marconi and the Japanese master, Ryota Komatsu. He may well be on a trajectory to surpass both of these as his career develops. He has received extensive press coverage in Japan and has had the opportunity to appear in many concerts there. He has issued two CD's which, unfortunately, do not appear to available outside of Japan. In today's video, he is performing the third movement of Piazzolla's Concierto para bandoneon y orchesta with the Osaka Philharmonic.

There are two related videos. The first contains interviews with Miura, some biographical background and some footage from rehearsal with the Osaka Philharmonic. The second is almost identical to today's featured video except it puts the performance in context with an audience of young Japanese students and has a short interview at the end.

The performance is one of the best I have seen. The third movement, labeled Presto, is often performed as an isolated piece and it does stand alone well although the first two movements actually contain more opportunity for a bandoneón virtuoso to demonstrate their mastery of the instrument. The orchestra in this performance is absolutely flawless - extraordinarily well rehearsed and very disciplined. Inevitably, Miura's performance will be compared to that of Piazzolla which is available on a reissue CD, Astor Piazzolla: Concierto para Bandoneón / Tres Tangos and on a DVD, The Next Tango. In my view, Miura has the fleetness of finger to match Piazzolla but does not yet have the bellows control to express the full range of dynamics available from the instrument. For example, Piazzolla often uses the bellows to provide an accent at the end of an extended note. It is a subtle but important effect and in the videos I have watched, Miura does not take advantage of it. As an example, the descending half notes found at 4'30" in the video have a quite a different character in the Piazzolla original - primarily as a result of the accent at the note closure. Subtle differences such as this make the difference between playing the music and expressing yourself through the music. If Miura can bring such details to his playing, he will be able to bring more emotion to his already superb technical skills and. perhaps, surpass his teachers.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

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