Cello quartets are relatively unusual; cello quartets that play Piazzolla's music, even more so. And the fact that the quartet is from Istanbul makes Cellistanbul even rarer. The quartet is made up of four graduates from Hacettepe University State Conservatory. The four continued their training, each in a separate country, but have returned to Istanbul where all are members of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. Members of the quartet are Çağ Erçağ, Melih Kara, Ozan Tunca, and Murat Berk. For today's featured performance of Invierno Porteño (winter, from Piazzolla's Four Seasons series), Cellistanbul is joined by Tolga Salman on bandoneón and Orçun Orcunsel on piano.
The cello has had a role in tango music since 1913, when Eduardo Arolas first introduced the instrument in an orquesta típica and Piazzolla incorporated the cello in most of his larger ensembles (the electronic octet was an exception). And while the Cellistanbul quartet is excellent, it is the addition of the bandoneón that moves the sound from the standard classical interpretation of Piazzolla to something more special and more authentic. Their arrangement is unique and captures the essence of the composition. I have noted a few other recent examples of small classical ensembles which have added a bandoneón for Piazzolla performances. I hope it turns into a trend.
Cellistanbul, joined by Orcunsel and Salman, have posted two other Piazzolla videos - both are worth watching: Libertango and Oblivion.
If the video does not appear below, click here.
To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.