Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bandoneón - Michael Zisman

The recent blog which featured Zita from Suite Troileana provides a good excuse to turn the calendar back to January, 2008 when today's video of Michal Zisman playing Bandoneón, the first movement of Suite Troileana, was first posted on YouTube.

The video is one of a set of 8 videos from a concert of solo bandoneón music performed by Zisman at the Theater Rex in Wuppertal, Germany as part of a tango festival held there. I believe the set of videos represents the finest collection of bandoneón music on YouTube and, in fact, is better than any recording of which I am aware. If you enjoy bandoneón music, you must watch all of these videos. You will find them on guidogayk's YouTube Channel. Today's video represents the only Piazzolla composition of the eight but there are two classic tangos played in arrangements created by Piazzolla: Juan Carlos Cobian's La casita de mis viejos and Joaquin Mora's Margarita Gautier. You can hear Piazzolla play these bandoneón solos on the CD, Concierto para quinteto. Arguably, Zisman does a better job on them than Piazzolla - there is more feeling in his performance.

Michael Zisman is a resident of Bern, Switzerland but Argentina is, literally, his fatherland. His father, Daniel Zisman, a well known classical violinist, was born there but as an adult split his time between Buenos Aires and Berne, Switzerland where he was the conductor of the Berne Symphony Orchestra. I don't know in which country Michael was born but he studied bandoneón with Nestor Marconi in Buenos Aires and at age 11 appeared on stage as a bandoneónist with Leopoldo Federico - both legends in the tango world. The elder Zisman is also a fine tango musician and is the founder of 676 Tango Ensemble which includes Michael on bandoneón. The young Zisman has recorded extensively - you will find his music for download at iTunes or Zisman is a master technician on the bandoneón - fleet of finger and in total control of the bellows - but it is the nuanced emotion that he brings to the music which makes him one of today's best bandoneónists.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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