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.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Don!! Emmanuel Kouassi is such a talented boy ! , We'll probably send you more of him in few days. Emmanuel is a student of Manolo Gonzalez who teaches at Arcadie school.
    Recorded in our school,Emmanuel did not know we'll do!!no partition,he sat at the piano and..We 'll hear him with other pianists and singers at carré Bleu on 22 of june and on 23 at Arcadie.
    Keep the beautiful work!!Once again Thank you.Martine Lecomte,director with Manolo Gonzalez