Piazzolla's Histoire du tango is a set of four duets depicting four periods in the development of tango music. They were originally composed for flute and guitar but have been transcribed and performed on a variety of instruments. But none quite so unusual as the combination of marimba and euphonium seen in today's video of Café 1930. Replacing the guitar with the marimba is not uncommon but it is quite a leap to go from flute to euphonium - a member of the tuba family.
The two musicians in the video are from Brazil and perform together as DUOPRIMO. On marimba is Danilo Koch and on euphonium, Fernando Deddos. They are both masters of their instruments. I have never seen or heard a better euphonium player than Deddos. He plays with great feeling and technical skills that only come through a combination of natural skills and enormous amounts of practice. The last three or four measures of his performance are just amazing - note the synchronization of the trill on the euphonium with the mallets on the marimba. Café 1930 is written as a genuine duet - it is not a guitar accompanying a flute - and moving the guitar part to the marimba is no simple matter. Koch does it extraordinarily well and captures as much emotion from the marimba as others do from the guitar. Quite a feat and a real tribute to Koch's skills as a musician.
I am anxious to hear more from these young musicians - hopefully, the other three movements of the Histoire are in rehearsal or already on video waiting to be posted on YouTube. You can find one other YouTube video of DUOPRIMO performing a Deddos composition, Ratatá (not a success to my ear), and several videos featuring the euphonium work of Deddos. Deddos also has a CD, EuFonium Brasileiro, which contains more of his own compositions as well as euphonium works written by others.
If the video does not appear below, click here (don't be put off by the mechanical problems at the beginning - things are quickly resolved).
To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.