Sunday, February 28, 2010

Primavera Porteña - Yuri Medianik

A recent blog highlighted an Anibal Troilo tango waltz, Romance de barrio, being performed by a trio which included Yuri Medianik on bandoneón. Today's video features Medianik again but this time performing a Piazzolla composition, Primavera Porteña, on accordion - or more properly on the bayan - with a chamber orchestra.

The performance is virtually perfect. The chamber orchestra, led by Eduard Grach, is crisp and responsive creating a marvelously lively sound, well matched to Piazzolla's music. While not identified in the video, the orchestra is surely the State Chamber Orchestra "Moskovia" created by Grach at the Moscow Conservatory in 1990. The performance is in the Great Hall at that conservatory. Grach is a legend in Russian music circles - a great violinist, a great teacher and a popularizer of many contemporary composers including Piazzolla. His conducting style is clear and unique and his love of the music is apparent in his hands and on his face.

Medianik's credentials were reviewed in the earlier blog. I have since watched many of his videos, including several where he performs as a violinist, and remain very impressed with his musicianship. You may note that he has no music in front of him in this performance - the music is all in his head. Part of the familiarity that leads to such a capability may go back to 2005 when Medianik recorded a full CD of Piazzolla's music performed on his bayan. I sense that he is more comfortable on the bayan than he is on the bandoneón and hope he will continue to develop his bandoneón skills to bring us even more Piazzolla music on the bandoneón.

Grach and Medianik also performed the other three of Piazzolla's "Seasons" (Verano, Otoño,and Invierno). They are all worth watching. Refreshingly, the arrangements are, I believe, those of José Bragato rather than the currently more popular (but bastardized) arrangements by Leonid Desyatnikov.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

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