Friday, January 21, 2011

Tango Suite - Wang Yameng & Su Meng

Repetition in pursuit of perfection is no vice. Therefore, today's video will repeat the performers and piece featured in this blog on 9 September, 2009. The performers are guitarists Wang Yameng and Su Meng and the piece is Tango Suite, composed in 1984 for Sérgio and Odair Assad. The Assad's recording of the work on the CD, Sérgio & Odair Assad Play Piazzolla, remains the standard against which all performances are compared.

In today's video, Wang Yemeng and Su Meng are noticeably more mature and more poised than in the 2009 video and their playing has gotten even better. They are technically perfect. I have never seen better precision in a guitar duo and they make it appear so easy - there is no straining, no suffering, no excess motion - just an amazing flow of notes. In contrast to the 2009 video, today's video features the full Tango Suite. The video is marred only by a very irritating abrupt cut-off before the end of the piece. All we needed was five seconds more music.

Both guitarists studied under the well known Chinese guitar artist, Chen Zhi. Professor Chen Zhi has been the center of the guitar world in China for many years. Both guitarists also play instruments built by Kim Hee Hong of Alma Guitars and they appear to be superb instruments albeit from an unlikely place. From what I read, there is only a years' waiting list for his instruments. For an instrument of such quality, that is not bad. If you are interested, you better get one ordered - the wait is only going to get longer.

Wang Yameng and Su Meng are clearly challenging the Assad's as the best Piazzolla guitar duo in the world. I find more passion in the Assad's performance but less precision. Passion remains the driver of Piazzolla's music so, for the moment, I will allow the Assad's to remain as standard bearers but they should be worried.

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