Monday, January 18, 2010

Without A Safety Net

Lorenzo Gatto and Denis Sungho Janssens, on violin and guitar, respectively, are clearly fearless young men to undertake a piece as challenging as Concert d'aujourd'hui at the breakneck speed of today's featured video. They are also incredibly talented young men because they not only survive the experience but repeat it in versions of Bordel 1900 and Nightclub 1960. All three performances were recorded at the Royal Brussels Conservatory in October of 2009 as part of a young person's concert presented by the Queen Elisabeth Competition.

The pieces are from Piazzolla's Histoire du tango originally written for flute and guitar. There is a fourth movement, Cafe 1930, but if Gatto and Sungho performed that one, it has not yet made it to YouTube. The first two movements are among the most frequently played Piazzolla pieces - there were more than 80 perfomances of each posted on YouTube in 2009. In contrast, there were only 14 performances posted of Concert d'aujourd'hui that year - perhaps because of the difficulty of the piece. Clearly it is not too difficult for these two fine musicians. But, technical skills are not end to themselves. The musicality of the performances could be improved with a bit of a slow down and a little more emphasis on phrasing.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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