Saturday, July 27, 2013

From Paraguay with love -- "Watch the First 54 Seconds. That's All I Ask. You'll Be Hooked" (Adam Albright-Hanna)

by Ken

This video (which, given its wide-screen format, you might want to watch on YouTube directly) came to me as a pass-along, from an post by Adam Albright-Hanna whose full title is:

"Watch the First 54 Seconds. That's All I Ask. You'll Be Hooked After That, I Swear" (Adam Albright-Hanna)"

It's at about 0:51 that the boy who has just described how his "cello" was constructed -- out of discarded scrap materials, starting with an oil can for the body of the instrument -- begins to play the opening Prelude of the Bach First Cello Suite. And sure enough, I was hooked.

I know there are messages being sent and lessons to be learned, but I really don't know how to amplify this. About the only thing I could think to add was a fuller representation of the music we hear:

BACH: Solo Cello Suite No. 1 in G, S. 1007:
i. Prelude

János Starker, cello. BMG, recorded June 1992

Or this very different take, by Mstislav Rostropovich, who when he finally got up his courage to recorded the Bach cello suites declared himself unfavorably disposed toward what he called the French habit of turning Bach's structural writing into sing-songy tunes.

Mstislav Rostropovich, cello. EMI, recorded March 1991

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons: I. Spring:
i. Allegro
ii. Largo
iii. Allegro

Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Szymon Goldberg, violin and cond. Philips, recorded Oct. 22-26, 1973

MOZART: Serenade in G, K. 525 (Eine kleine Nachtmusik):
i. Allegro
ii. Romanze: Andante
iii. Menuetto: Allegretto
iv. Rondo: Allegro

Vienna Philharmonic, Bruno Walter, cond. EMI, recorded Dec. 17, 1936 (digital transfer by F. Reeder)

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