Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Boulouris 5

Many musicians play all the notes, only a few make beautiful music. Boulouris 5 makes beautiful music (and they don't miss any notes, either). This Lausanne, Switzerland based quintet is on my short list of groups I would like to see in concert. Their interpretations are unique and extraordinarily musical. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that they are Piazzolla specialists. They have issued four albums - three of which are virtually devoted to the music of Piazzolla. Part of their success is due to the fact that they understand and have mastered all of Piazzolla's musical gestures and can execute them not just with precision but with feeling. I could not decide which of two recently posted videos was best so have featured them both: La Muerte del Angel and Contrabajissimo. The videos are from a live performance at Vevey. The music from that performance is available for download from Amazon.com or iTunes.

The composition of the group is not what you would expect for Piazzolla specialists: St├ęphanie Joseph on violin, Jean-Samuel Racine on clarinet, Anne Gillot on bass clarinet, Ignacio Lamas on guitar, and Jocelyne Rudasigwa on contrabass. Racine and Lamas do their arrangements. While I would be content to just listen to their Piazzolla, they do need to make a living and seem to be understandably reluctant to leave the Suisse Romande so they have packaged their talents into a series of eight musical spectacles which can attract much larger audiences. The most recent such spectacle, Newman Waits Here, covers the work of Tom Waits and Randy Newman. You can see examples of their vocal, mime and comedy talents in the fifteen videos posted on JeansamRacine's YouTubeChannel.

I prefer just the music and the two videos below illustrate why. If they do not appear below, click here and then here.





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