Big Bird says, "everybody makes mistakes." How else can you explain a second place award for the group in today's video performance of Escualo? The nine accordionists are from MDA (Muziek- en Dansschool Amstelveen) and they are performing in a contest sponsored by NOVAM (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Accordeon & Mondharmonica) in Amstelveen last week. The arrangement of Escualo is by Ralf Schwarzien.
The group has picked one of Piazzolla most rhythmically challenging pieces and they don't miss a beat. More impressively, keeping a large group like this precise and in synchronization without a conductor requires much practice and and a great deal of attention to the subtle signals from the other players. And most importantly, they perform with great musicality - the phrasing is good and consistent with the ideas presented in Piazzolla's own performance of the piece. Congratulations to the group and their leader for an excellent performance.
First place went to the group Kwintetto. Although I could not find a copy of their winning performance on YouTube, I did find a video of what I suspect is the same group performing Asphalt Tango in Amstelveen last year. It looks to me like some of the same musicians are in both groups so I think the real prize goes to MDA for having an outstanding program of music education.
If the video does not appear below, click here.