Saturday, January 16, 2010

Verano Porteño - Sejong

If you enjoy your Piazzolla antiseptically cleansed and served with cream and sugar you will enjoy today's video featuring the New York based chamber group, Sejong, playing Verano Porteño - the summer portion of Piazzolla's Four Seasons.

Sejong was formed by artistic director, Hyo Kang, in 1995 and has shared their musical abilities around the world since that date. Although the name presumeably refers to the 15th century Korean King, Sejong the Great (inventor of the Korean alphabet), the group is international with members from nine countries. The members are all soloists in the rest of their musical lives and together form one of the most talented chamber orchestras in the world.

The videography, the audio quality, the performance - they all approach perfection; but... is this really Piazzolla? I believe the arrangement is that of Leonid Desyatnikov - created initially for Gidon Kremer and his chamber orchestra. Undeniably beautiful, but the absence of tango soul and the glaring insertion of the Vivaldi licks is a continuing source of irritation to me. I am saddened to see this arrangement steadily displace the arrangement by Piazzolla's musical confidant, José Bragato, on the orchestral concert stage. After you watch this video, journey over to this video to watch Piazzolla and his Quintet perform the original.

What do you think? Is Sejong delivering perfection or perversion?

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

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