Monday, March 1, 2010

The Real Divertimento 9

In a recent blog posting, I featured a video of Zum played by Piazzolla's Conjunto 9 (also known as the Nonet). That video mistitled Zum as Divertimento 9 and so did I until a reader corrected me. Today's video again features the Conjunto 9 but this time they are indeed playing Divertimento 9 (although the piece is untitled in the video). The video comes from a 1972 broadcast of the series Teatro 10 which was hosted by Alberto Lupo. Piazzolla is introduced by Lupo in the video. While this video has been previously posted on YouTube, the version posted this week is of much better quality. Note in the video the way Piazzolla moves his bandoneón to best capture the sound with the single microphone provided. (Since a bandoneón produces sound from the two ends of the instrument which can be more than a meter apart when instrument is extended, it is standard practice to use two microphones when recording it - one at each end of the instrument. Italian TV provided only one microphone but Piazzolla seamlessly orients his bandoneón to best capture the sound he is creating.)

I have also included a second video from the same broadcast. In this video, Mina (Anna Maria Mazzini) joins the Conjunto 9 to sing Balada para mi muerte. This Balada is one of the early collaborations between Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer. It was originally composed for the Quintet and was first recorded by the Quintet with Amelita Baltar in 1970. You can hear that version on the CD, Amelita Baltar Interpteta A: Piazzolla-Ferrer. But, it was Mina's recording of it on her LP, Signori...Mina, which provided an early exposure of Piazzolla's music to European audiences.

These are both important videos to fans of Piazzolla.

If the videos do not appear below, click here for Divertimento 9 and here for Balada para mi muerte.

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

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