Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mostly Strings or Mostly Reeds

The first video today contains one accordionist and forty string players - the second features one string player and forty accordionists. Both groups play Libertango. How many songs are flexible enough to cover such a range of instrumentation? I happened to watch them one immediately after the other and while there is nothing particularly distinguished about either, they do represent interesting examples of the two sides of the Libertango "coin".

The single accordionist in the first video is the talented young Michał Cieślar from Poland. The orchestra is unnamed but the director is a distinguished looking gentleman in full tails and the orchestra is quite formal. This is serious music for them and they play it well.

The single string player in the second video is unnamed but sits in the front row, to your left and is playing what looks to be a domra. You probably won't hear her given the volume of sound that the 16,000 reeds on the stage with her can make. The group is the Daugavpils (Latvia) Accordion orchestra and the director is unnamed and informal. This is fun music for them and they play it well.

Full disclosure: actually there are two string players in the Daugavpils group - it looks like a bass guitar is being played between the two drummers in the back row.

If the videos do not appear below, click here for mostly strings and here for mostly reeds.

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

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