Friday, July 22, 2011

Tanti Anni Prima - Jing Zhao & Yasuji Ohagi

Among the handful of Piazzolla compositions which most would agree qualify for the descriptor, "beautiful," must be included Tanti Anni prima, which is featured in today's video. The performers in the video, Jing Zhao, on cello, and Yasuji Ohagi, on guitar, contribute to the beauty with the perfection of their playing.

Jing Zhao was born in China and received her early music training there before moving on to Japan and Europe for further training by Ryosuke Hori, Rostropovich and Yo-Yo Ma. Such artists reserve their teaching time for only the very best and Ms. Zhao obviously qualifies. Listen to the complex dynamics within almost every note she plays and you will understand part of what makes her such a great cellist. Yasuji Ohaji is less well known than Ms. Zhao but he is a worthy partner in this performance. His articulation is clean and his feel for the music perfectly matches that of Ms. Zhao. There is nothing which could be done to improve this performance.

The video is from a rare, and now now discontinued DVD titled, Le Dix Cordes Live, and I believe the audio may be found on an equally rare CD of the same title. The video has appeared before on YouTube and has been removed so this is another video you should watch now while it is available.

The piece, Tanti Anni prima, is from Piazzolla's score for the movie Enrico IV. You can see the piece in the context of the movie at 4'40" into this video and read more about the story behind the music and it's twin, Ave Maria, in this earlier Piazzolla on Video blog. I am guessing this is their own arrangement - I find no other cello/guitar versions of the piece.

It is no accident that I have uploaded this blog of calm and beauty at the same time I uploaded the blog of chaos and cacophony of F & F Project's interpretation of Libertango. It helps to keep things in balance, don't you think?

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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