There are hints of bossa nova and more than a touch of jazz in today's video of Milonga del ángel performed by Nikolai Svishev. Milonga del ángel provides one of Piazzolla's most hauntingly beautiful melodies and it seems to lend itself particularly well to solo guitar. This is one of the best solo guitar performances of the piece I have heard.
Most of the guitar performances of Milonga del ángel fall into a Spanish classical mode but Svishev provides a wonderfully flowing, unhurried and heartfelt version that I find difficult to pigeonhole in any genre. Perhaps that is because Svishev himself is difficult to classify as guitarist. Born in Siberia near Lake Baikal, he moved to Novosibirsk (surprisingly, a center of Piazzolla performances) where he studied music and engineering - ultimately settling into a career in music. With the help of Chet Atkins, who knows a thing or two about guitar skills, Svishev arrived in the U.S. and now lives in Charleston, South Carolina. His influences are Siberian jazz, Django gypsy, Brazilian Jobim, and with current studies at the University of South Carolina, classical. Fortunately, rather than by being confused by this wealth of input, Svishev has synthesized a unique sound which I think will help him rise above the noise of many other aspiring guitar stars.
You may note something a little surprising in the video: an eight-string guitar. Not surprising are the good sounds in his other guitar videos ranging from Pachelbel to the Beatles on his YouTube Channel - check them out. I hope he adds some more Piazzolla soon.
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