Thursday, April 19, 2012

Escualo - Quintetto Anedda

Giuseppe Anedda is not a well known name in the musical world but he should be. He was a virtuoso mandolinist, probably the best the world has ever seen. This year, 2012, is the one hundredth anniversary of his birth and I urge you to take the time to view his performance of the Bach Chaconne in this video. There are a few other videos of the Anedda on YouTube but none which better display his musicality. Two of his grandson's have inherited that musicality and are members of the group featured in today's video. The full name of the group is Quintetto a Plettro "Giuseppe Anedda" and they are about to release a new DVD, Live in Rome, which contains today's featured performance of Escualo.

This is the eleventh time that Escualo has been featured in this blog. Escualo (the title translates to Shark) was composed in 1979. In a two year survey of the most frequently performed Piazzolla compositions, it was number 17. Piazzolla recorded the work four times. My favorite was captured live on October 13, 1983 in Lugano, Switzerland and can be heard on the readily available CD, Adios Nonino. A later but quite famous performance by the quintet can be seen in this video.

The performance by Quintetto Anedda is more precise and controlled than those of Piazzolla but captures perfectly the rhythmic drive of the work which makes it so interesting. The arrangement is respectful of the original but takes full advantage of the staccato, percussive effect of their plectrum created music. These are classically trained musicians and their music has a conservatory feel to it but the jazz roots of Escualo can still be heard. The performance is a good example of the way Piazzolla's music flows easily between the jazz and classical idioms.

The musicians in the quintet are the two grandsons of Anedda: Emanuele Buzi on mandolin and Valdimiro Buzi on mandola, along with Norberto Gonçalves da Cruz on mandolin, Andrea Pace on guitar and Emiliano Piccolini on double bass. Bios of each musician are available on their excellent website. The music from the Live in Rome DVD is available for download now and also contains performances of Piazzolla's Nightclub 1960 and Oblivion. You can also see them perform Piazzolla's Zita in this YouTube video. They are clearly fans of Piazzolla. Giuseppe Anneda was a contemporary of Piazzolla, I wonder if he knew Piazzolla's music and if he ever imagined his grandson's playing it?

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