Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Escándalos Privados - Sebastián Holz

Mario Trejo, an Argentine poet, collaborated with Piazzolla to provide lyrics for three canciones: Los pájaros perdidos, Escándalos privados, and Violetas populares. The first of these is one of Piazzolla's more popular songs but the other two are rarely heard. Today's video features Sebastián Holz singing Escándalos privados accompanied by pianist, Gabriel Goldman, who also arranged the song. The performance is from a 2004 production titled Astor Inédito.

Piazzolla did not record Escándalos privados although it appears on his 1975 recording, Balada para un loco, sung by Jose Angel Trelles accompanied on solo piano by Dante Amicarelli, who was a member of one of Piazzolla's earlier quintets.

Sebastián Holz is one of the better young Argentine singers and is a frequent performer of Piazzolla compositions. His interpretation is very similar to that of Trelles in the original. On the other hand, the piano accompaniment by Goldman is pleasant enough but quite unlike that of Amicarelli. I much prefer the original piano accompaniment, although I suspect it was created by Amicarelli not by Piazzolla, and hope someday to hear Holz repeat the performance with something closer to the Amicarelli accompaniment. Nevertheless, this is the only version available on YouTube and it is worth a viewing.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ouvertura Dramatica Op.5

Today's featured video is certainly a YouTube premiere of an early Piazzolla work and quite possibly a video of only the second performance of the piece in the world. It is an orchestral work, Ouvertura Dramatica, which is labeled as Opus 5. While some program notes from an earlier performance suggest the work was composed in the 1950's in Paris while Piazzolla studied with Nadia Boulanger, the opus number strongly suggests the work was actually composed sometime between 1943 (Op. 2) and 1945 (Op. 7) while Piazzolla was studying composition with Alberto Ginastera. The character of the music also strongly suggests that it was composed under the tutelage of Ginastera rather than Boulanger.

It is thanks to Roberto Pagani Salvalaio that we have the pleasure of hearing this music. Salvalaio has a relationship with Edizioni A. Pagani, the owner of much of the Piazzolla catalog and many of the original Piazzolla manuscripts, which evidently provides him unique access to some of Piazzolla's original music. He has re-scored the Ouvertura Dramatica for today's video as well as the rare oratorio El Pueblo Joven which he premiered in October, 2009 (I believe that Ouvertura Dramatica shared that premiere). The performance in today's video is by the Orchestra Camera Radio in Bucharest led by Mr. Salvalaio, himself.

As to the music itself, to my ear it presages nothing about Piazzolla's future compositions. Like much of Bartok's music and most of Schoenberg's music, there is intellectual interest but the listener is not transported anywhere by the music. It represents an evolutionary dead-end in Piazzolla's development as a composer and reaffirms the wisdom of Mme. Boulanger's advice to Piazzolla to "never leave the tango." I am, nevertheless, very grateful to Mr. Salvalaio for recovering this music and sharing it with us.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lo Que Vendrá - duo resonances

On October 17, 1983, Piazzolla attended the birthday party of Délia Estrada-Aussel. This obscure link is the only one I could find between Piazzolla and the arranger of one of the most familiar guitar duo pieces in the Piazzolla catalog. That piece is Lo que vendrá played in today's featured video by the group, duo resonances. There are more than twenty versions of the Estrada-Aussel arrangement of Lo que vendrá on YouTube and almost as many on recordings by a large variety of artists but the performance of the young guitarists of duo resonances, Frédérique Luzy and Pierre Bibault has more musicality and is performed with more precision and feeling than any other on YouTube. It is the definitive performance.

Ms. Estrada-Aussel is a guitarist, a teacher, an arranger of music for the guitar and earlier in her career a frequently successful participant on the guitar festival circuit. Whether that birthday meeting sparked her interest in Piazzolla's music or whether his presence was the result of some other relationship will probably remain unknown but she did something quite remarkable in creating her now famous arrangement of Lo que vendra. Piazzolla composed the piece in 1956-57 for his Buenos Aires Octet. The story of that octet is well told in a TodoTango Chronicle. In its original form (found on the LP, Tango progresivo), the piece has a jazz combo feel with individual soloist taking the lead sequentially but the overall sound is more 1930's soundtrack than 1950's jazz. There are only hints of the nuevo tango to come. While it was quite a break from the traditional tango sound of the time, it was not until Piazzolla's version of the piece for his quintet in 1961 (available on the CD, Piazzolla interpreta a Piazzolla) that the work took on a nuevo tango edge. And the final, 1963 version (available on the CD, Tango Contemporaneo) is almost unrecognizable compared to the first version. If you listen to these three quite different versions and then listen to the guitar duo version, the most striking thing is not the similarities, it is the differences. In many ways, the music that Délia Estrada-Aussel heard and managed to capture for two guitars is more consistent and more coherent than anything Piazzolla himself created. It is one of those remarkable cases where I believe an arranger of Piazzolla's music has done a better job with a musical idea than the composer.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Friday, June 25, 2010

Separated at Birth - Tanguango Twins

If you want to start an argument in the small world of Piazzolla geek culture, ask about the Tanguango twins. Are they really twins? or just brothers? or totally unrelated? Today's featured video is a very expertly done arrangement of the "first" Tanguango by Pablo Zinger as played by the Zinger Trio during their recent tour of Korea. This Tanguango was composed in 1949 for viola and piano - one of two movements in a work titled Dos Piezas Breves. It is very rarely heard Piazzolla - one of the few recordings is to be found on Allison Brewster Franzetti's, The Unknown Piazzolla.

The score for the piece performed by Ms. Franzetti is readily available from alma and I suspect that Zinger started from that score. But what you hear from the trio in the video is not that score but rather a showpiece of the art of arrangement. It is true to the spirit of the original but takes great advantage of the texture of the clarinet and cello in the trio and of the creative interpretive skills of the players Jose Franch-Ballester on clarinet and Young Song on cello (and, of course, Zinger on the piano). The trio has been featured in this blog before and their performances are always first rate but, to me, the star in this video is the arrangement which I hope is noticed by the classical music community.

But, what about the other twin? The "other" Tanguango was an arrangement created by Piazzolla in 1951 for his friend and mentor, Anibal Troilo. Or, perhaps Piazzolla wrote a second composition and just recycled the name Tanguango. To my ears, they share some of the same DNA - for example, a frequently repeated descending, four note Phryrgian mode scale (whole step, whole step, half step) and a number of rhythmic similarities - but at the same time, I must agree with those who argue that the flowing melodic interludes in the "other" are missing in the "first" Tanguango. Perhaps enough of a difference to make it a different composition. It will take a better musician than me resolve the question. Troilo was a traditional tango musician and my guess is that Piazzolla wrapped enough "tradition" around the "first" Tanguango to make it acceptable to Troilo. Even at that, as described in the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, many Troilo fans would not accept the piece and Troilo removed it from his playlist when pro- and anti-Piazzolla fans broke into a fight over the piece at a dance being played by Troilo's band.

To help you resolve the question about the twins, I have included below today's featured video a second video which includes a recording of Troilo playing the "other" Tanguango. If the Zinger video does not appear below, click here and for the Troilo video/audio, click here.

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

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Giant Plays Libertango

The standard piano keyboard stands about 72 cm (28.5 inches) above the floor. A few biometric approximations leads me to believe that the pianist performing Libertango in today's featured video stands 4.37 meters (14 feet, three inches) above the floor.

The pianist goes by the name of Uno and although "Giant" may not be the appropriate description, he is certainly tall enough to take the world's record away from Bao Xishun.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thank You Eduardo Abramson - II

Eduardo Abramson has contributed two videos to YouTube which I consider important additions to the video catalog of Piazzolla works.

The second video is also from a festival in Israel in the year 2000. It is a recitation of the poem, Mi viejo Piazzolla, by the poet himself - Horacio Ferrer. Accompanying the recitation is a performance of Oblivion by the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Radio Television Israeli conducted by Luis Gorelik with the bandoneón lead played by Eduardo Abramson

Ferrer wrote Mi viejo Piazzolla in Brussels in 1994. It is a heartfield paean to his musical colleague of many years. I do not know when it was first read or recited publicly but it certainly received its first broad audience in 1995 when it was included in the album Piazzolla by Piazzolla with music composed by Piazzolla's son, Daniel Piazzolla. The combination of Oblivion and Mi viejo Piazzolla is an inspired alternative to Daniel's tribute and this video represents perhaps the first time the two were combined although others have done so since.

For those interested, the words to the poem are included below the video. Those words were found accompanying this video.

A special thanks again to Eduardo Abramson for his excellent bandoneón playing, for organizing the festival in Israel where this performance was held, and for posting this wonderful video.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Mi viejo Piazzolla, mi mágico Astor,
tocá con las teclas de mi corazón.

Vivir fue tu más honda melodía
y el júbilo de Dios al darte el genio.
Y vos te diste a muerte, con la angustia
de un toro fantaseando en el misterio.
La burla del mañana se ilumina
zampándole diez lunas a tus dedos
y un ángel y un demonio en contrapunto
la zurda te gatillan oro y fuego.

Mi viejo Piazzolla, mi mágico Astor,
tocá con las teclas de mi corazón.

Con qué insolencia heroica nos salvaste
del pozo de los sordos y los necios,
inmortalmente joven, retobado
tu testamento fue como otro estreno.
En un café irreal de cualquier mundo
tu sombra viva sigue componiendo
y el alba desnudita de mil noches
te escucha con su asombro de concierto.

Mi viejo Piazzolla, mi mágico Astor,
tocá con las teclas de mi corazón.

Tu bruja Buenos Aires goza y dice:
"Te amo, Astor, mi mozart milonguero",
y allá, en las azoteas de tus tangos,
bendice tus dos manos con un beso.
Te haré una misa rea y una orgía
de música y de lágrimas por dentro,
al ver tu ser sinfónico caído
tocar tu bandoneón, de pié, en el cielo.

Mi viejo Piazzolla, mi mágico Astor,
tocá con las teclas de mi corazón.

Horacio Ferrer, 1994

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thank You Eduardo Abramson - I

Eduardo Abramson has contributed two videos to YouTube which I consider important additions to the video catalog of Piazzolla works.

The first is a performance from the year 2000 by Susana Rinaldi of Balada para mi muerte. There are many fine performances of this canción - for example those of Amelita Baltar, and Raul Lavié, and Mina - but you will find no more bravura performance than this by Ms. Rinaldi. The arrangement is by Juan Carlos Cuacci, the orchestra is conducted by Luis Gorelik and the excellent bandoneón playing is provided by Eduardo Abramson - all three from Argentina, as is Ms. Rinaldi. They all clearly understand the music.

The work itself arrived arrived early in the collaboration between poet Horacio Ferrer and Piazzolla. It is one of three ballads created in 1968 or 1969 by Piazzolla and Ferrer for Amelita Baltar. It and the other two, Balada para un loco and Balada para él, can be found in original form in the classic CD, Amelita Baltar Interpreta a:Piazzolla-Ferrer. The similarities between Balada para mi muerte and some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's compositions in Phantom of the Opera have always made me wonder if Webber is a Piazzolla fan. Even the "trick" of modulating the last chorus up a major second to signal a climax is shared. And you can't miss the descending "ba-da-da-da-dum" theme in both.

While the instrumental music is wonderful, Susana Rinaldi is the star here. For more discussion of Ms. Rinaldi, I refer you to this earlier Piazzolla on Video posting where you can see Ms. Rinaldi sing another Piazzolla classic, Los pájaros perdidos.

A special thanks to Eduardo Abramson for his excellent bandoneón playing, for organizing the festival in Israel where this performance was held, and for posting this wonderful video.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Friday, June 18, 2010

Alfredo Marcucci (1929 - 2010)

Alfredo Marcucci died on June 12, 2010. He was a great bandoneónist and an inspiration and teacher for another great bandoneónist, Carel Kraayenhof. Rather than write further, I will turn to the words created by Channel Classics to accompany the video they posted today:

Bandoneón player Alfredo Marcucci has died June 12, 2010 in Landen, Belgium at age 81.

Alfredo Marcucci was taught the profession by his uncle, the great Bandoneón player Carlos Marcucci. Since 1947 Alfredo played in the big orchestras of the time: Raúl Kaplún, Carlos di Sarli, Julio de Caro. At the end of the 1950's, when the Tango got less popular he toured the world with the folklore group Los Paraguayos for 15 years. After meeting his Dutch wife he chose to stop playing professionally and starts working in a factory to be able to support his family. In 1986 he is able to retire and starts Orquesta Típica. He teaches Leo Vervelde and Carel Kraayenhof, Sexteto Canyengue the art of the Bandoneón. A "second youth" starts and with Channel Classics he records 'Timeless Tango', 'Touched by Tango' and in 2004 - in honor of his 75th birthday, - 'a life of Tango'.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

The song in this video, Chiquilín de Bachin, was written by Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer in 1968 or 1969 to tell the story of a young boy who sold flowers at a restaurant they frequented, the Bachin. As sung by Amelita Baltar, the simple waltz became one of Piazzolla's first hits.

Note added 20 June, 2010: Today, I received a note from Jared Sacks of Channel Classics. I received his permission to add the note to this blog. I think it adds to the measure of the man.

Dear Don,

I appreciate your support in getting the word out about Alfredo. I was fortunate to have spent a few hours with him last week. He was full of life and spirit even though he knew he had about a week to live. A real inspiration as a person and musician. If my record labels means anything at all, then our video clip with him and the recordings are truly a memory that will live on. I must have looked at this video a thousand times and yet I must always look again. The music and his music making are just so made for each other.

Jared Sacks

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

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Amelita Baltar - Marikena Monti - Susana Rinaldi

This blog has visited before the story of Amelita Baltar and Balada para un loco but any time new video arrives that brings the singer and song together again, it is news for this blog. Such an occasion arrived on June 14th in the Golden Hall of the legislature of Buenos Aires. The occasion was the presentation of an award to Marikena Monti as a Cultural Icon for the city. Not only was the audience treated to the performance of Balada para un loco that is featured in today's video they also were treated to performances by Susana Rinaldi and Ms. Monti herself. A good place to watch all of these videos is the blog of Raúl Puy, a prominent government official in Buenos Aires. Scroll to near the bottom of Puy's blog to find the video.

These three women have a combined 130 years of performance experience and are the Grandes Dames of the Argentine music world. They are currently appearing in the hit show, Tres mujeres para el show, a revival of the 1973 show of the same name. For those not familiar with the singers on sight, Baltar is the singer in the video, Monti is the woman who goes on stage to hug Baltar and Rinaldi is the woman seated in the audience who Baltar goes over to hug. What a treat it must be to see Tres mujeres para el show. The only complaint I have read is that the three do not sing together as a trio. That would be something to hear.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Verano Porteño - Pablo Mingione

Apparently, no one informed Pablo Mingione that the role of the bassist was to play the root of the chord on the first beat of every measure. Or, if they did, he fortunately did not listen because you will find very few chord roots in today's video of Mingione playing Verano Porteño on his electric bass guitar. With a combination of standard fretting and strumming and two handed tapping, Mingione provides a very creative and effective jazz interpretation of this Piazzolla classic. If you enjoy his performance of Verano Porteño, you might also enjoy his related version of Adios Nonino.

Mingione's creativity is not limited to Piazzolla. His first solo album, Desconocido, contains a number of thoughtfully created and well performed pieces ranging from Bach's Invention Nr. 4 in d minor to Jobim's Girl from Ipanema to pieces of his own composition. He has generously shared the full mp3's of each of these on this album link. More recently, he and bandoneónist, Marcelo Marcellini, have applied their talent to traditional tango. You can listen to their interpretations of Tierra Querida (Julio de Caro) and Mal de Amores (Pedro Laurenz) here. And, most recently, judging from the "advertising" in the video, Mingione has turned to passing his skills on to others as a "Professor" at the virtual music school, Tamaba. Students should pay attention - this man knows what he is doing.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You're Free

There must be a story behind the choice of Escualo to accompany the action in today's video: a short film by Amal Abou-Setta titled You're Free. How did Amal Abou-Setta, a Writing Instructor in the Rhetoric and Composition Department at the American University in Cairo, come to know that song? Why did she choose it out of the millions of songs in our world? Her public Facebook page suggests her favorite musician is Ahmed El Nasser but I find no hints that Ahmed El Nasser is a Piazzolla fan. It appears that our only hope for resolving this mystery is a response from Ms. Abou-Setta herself.

It is an inspired choice. Escualo (the title translates to Shark) was composed in 1979 and is one of the most rhythmically challenging of Piazzolla's works. There is a constant uncertainty in the resolution of the rhythm - a feeling of unease is created in the listener. Perhaps the same feeling that Ms. Abou-Setta was aiming to create in her video.

There are two copies of the video posted below. They are identical except the second version contains English subtitles. If you are a non-Arabic speaker, I encourage you to watch the first one to see if you can interpret the message of the video from the actions of the actors and the music alone - then watch the second to see if you are correct. You may also be interested in her second video, Running all the way, which requires no subtitles and in an interview that Ms. Abou-Setta gave on Egyptian television (sorry, no English subtitles available on this one).

Note added on 17 June, 2010: After you view the videos, be sure and read the comment posted below the videos. Ms. Abou-Setta explains exactly how she came to choose Escualo for her video.

If the videos do not appear below, click here for the Arabic version and here for the English subtitle version.

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

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Queréme así, piantao

Google failed me. Today's video is clearly a dramatization of Piazzolla's encounter with Carlos Gardel in New York City in 1934. The scene unfolds just as described in the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango. The actor playing Gardel is one of the best Gardel impersonators, Angel Rico. The notes accompanying the video indicate it is from a movie about Piazzolla's life and the title of the video suggests the movie might be called, Queréme así, piantao.

Such a movie, of course, interests me. But Google, that source of all knowledge, yields no clues regardless of my best search efforts. To my surprise, an identical search on Microsoft's Bing brought the answer. The clip is from a 1997 movie, made for TV and written and directed by Eliseo Alvarez.

I hope to see more of the movie some day. While I am waiting, it looks like it is time to change my default search engine.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Monday, June 14, 2010

Addition and Subtraction

There are musicians who are adders and musicians who are subtracters. The adders approach is to enhance a tune with turns, trills, mordents, passing notes and complex chordal progressions. The subtracters enhance a tune by deconstructing it and removing the nonessential elements which distract the mind from the essence of the music. Today's video features a solo piano performance of Oblivion by a subtracter whose own identity has been subtracted to the single name - Emmanuel.

Oblivion was composed as the primary theme for the movie Enrico IV. It is Piazzolla's third most popular composition performed on YouTube, behind only Libertango and Adios Nonino. On the average, slightly more than one new performance of Oblivion is posted on YouTube every day. And of those performances, it is rare to find one by a subtracter which makes it a special pleasure to view this sparse, simple and elegant distillation of one of Piazzolla's most fluid and melodic compositions.

The notes with the video tell us that Emmanuel is a student at Arcadie School of Music in Poitiers, France - perhaps specifically a student of Manolo Gonzalez, a Professor with broad interests from Piazzolla to Gregorian chants. The video is one of a series made by Vasily Koussev and Rodolphe Gaudin of Arcadie students performing at the concert hall, Carré Bleu. You can see the others at the zunzemma YouTube channel.

Thank you Emmanuel for a beautiful performance - even with those few turns, mordents and trills.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

Additional information and correction added 16 June, 2010: Thanks to a note from Martine Lecomte, I have learned that the full name of the pianist is Emmanuel Kouassi and the performance was filmed at Arcadie not at Carré Bleu. However Emmanuel along with other Arcadie students will be performing at Carré Bleu next week on the 22nd.

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

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bono Plays Piazzolla

Yes, Bono plays Piazzolla. No, not that Bono - I mean Alberto Bono. Alberto is probably the more talented of the two Bono's - he not only plays the bandoneón with an enormous amount of feeling for the tango, he is also a world class artist whose painting also capture the emotion of the tango. Today's video features Bono in his quintet playing the Piazzolla classic, Lo que vendra. Lo que vendra was composed in 1956 or 1957 and was used as the main theme for the 1958 movie, Dos basuras.

Alberto Bono was born in 1943 and began playing the bandoneón at the age of six. He has played the music of Astor Piazzolla all over the world and in 1998 issued a CD of Piazzolla's music titled, El Tangonauta. Joining Bono in today's video are J. Paladini on piano, Néstor Madeo on guitar, Eduardo Pedruelo on bass and R. Cigno on drums. You can hear more of their work and find a wonderful collection of videos which show Bono's paintings on norber00's YouTube Channel. It is worth a visit. His work is well enough known that he was the subject of a movie, Mariposas de colores, directed by Fernando Foulques. In 2006, he was presented a special award as an outstanding artist by his hometown, Rosario, Argentina.

Please enjoy the work of this artist. If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pedro y Pedro

Pedro y Pedro is perhaps the only solo bandoneón work composed by Piazzolla. He composed extended bandoneón solos within a number of other works and also arranged some classic tangos for solo bandoneón but I believe Pedro y Pedro stands alone in his oeuvre. Today's video features a sensitive performance of Pedro y Pedro by bandoneónist, Hugo Satorre. Satorre is a multi-instrumentalist but has focused on the bandoneón for the past ten years or so. He is in demand as a session musician and has played with many of today's better tango groups including Otros Aires, Quatrotango and Planetangos. You will find his biographical information on the latter two sites. Take the opportunity to watch the fingerwork as you view the video - the layout of the bandoneón keyboard requires exceptional dexterity and Satorre certainly has it.

Pedro y Pedro was composed in 1981 as a tribute to Piazzolla's bandoneónist predecessors: Pedro Maffia and Pedro Laurenz. To my knowledge, he never recorded the piece commercially nor performed it in public although the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, reports that he did play it, and record it on his own tape recorder, for friends on his sixtieth birthday. The work has received serious academic study as the subject of Luis Caruana's PhD thesis. If you are interested in following the music as Satorre plays, you can find the score on these three pages: 1, 2 and 3. While Piazzolla's score for the work was once viewable on the web, I believe the hand written score on these pages is the work of Carunana or someone else, not Piazzolla.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

May 2010 Review of Piazzolla Videos

There were 711 videos of Piazzolla’s music posted on YouTube in the month of May, 2010, an increase of 46% over May, 2009. 515 (72%) of the videos were performance videos featuring live performances. The others were videos which used Piazzolla’s music as a sound track for photo or video montages. I highlighted my journey through these many videos in this blog.

Forty-three percent of the performance videos were in the classical mode, 17% in tango nuevo, 24% in pop and 16% in jazz.

Here are the most frequently performed pieces this month (Libertango was the most frequently played – 30% of the total; the others follow in order):

1. Libertango
2. Oblivion
3. Adios Nonino
4. Verano Porteño
5. Invierno Porteño
6. Primavera Porteña
7. Otoño Porteño
8. Histoire du tango - Nightclub 1960
9. Balada para un loco
10. Tango etudes

The top three on this list seem to be fairly stable month-to-month but the bottom seven change every month. Eighty-seven different compositions were covered in the videos this month.

The performance videos came from 53 different countries. Argentina posted the most videos: 69. The top ten posting countries are listed in order here:

1. Argentina
2. USA
3. Italy
4. Russia
5. Spain
6. Japan
7. Brazil
8. Germany
9. France
10. Netherlands

There were eleven Piazzolla original performances posted and they all had been previously posted.

Quality of performance varied from excellent to bizarre. My choice for best of the month is the performance of Yo soy Maria by Julia Zenko and Gidon Kremer's Kremerata Musica. If the video does not appear below, click here.

The choice for most bizarre this month is a video of Libertango being performed by a solo laugher. If the video does not appear below, click here.

I have put a table with links to all 711 videos as well as some more information on the videos on the May, 2010 link in my Piazzolla on Video website.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Le Grand Tango - Kleinhapl and Woyke

It is rare to find posted video of Le grand tango, much less two excellent performances posted in the space of two days. Today's video of Friedrich Kleinhapl and Andreas Woyke, both from Austria, performing Le grand tango at the Fazioli Concert Hall in Sacile, Italy is the second of two fine performances this week. As impressed as I was with the performance of Beznosikov in the previous blog, this performance moves to the top of my list as the best performance of Le grand tango on YouTube.

Kleinhapl is exceptionally expressive and delivers a flowing performance, capturing the emotional content of the music as few others have. His cello has a voice well suited for the music. And, unlike many performances, the cellist is, in this case, matched with a pianist who delivers nuance and finds the rhythmic, tango structure that 99% of pianists miss in the piece. I see no hints that either of these musicians have traveled to Argentina to study tango but they appear to have a natural feel for the music and I hope they develop some additional Piazzolla interpretations. I think a reading of the Histoire du tango by the duo would be very interesting (particularly if they can obtain the Ribchester piano arrangement of the guitar/piano part).

If the video does not appear below, click here.

Note: This blog was modified on 24 February, 2011 to replace the original video which was removed. This is a different performance but is equally good.

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

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