Vivaldi – Like You’ve Never Heard It Before

Check this out! Once in a while something comes along that so thoroughly delights my soul I have to share it with the world. Such is the case with this video of a young man playing an incredible version of Vivaldi’s “Summer” from the Four Seasons. I love Vivaldi. I love the Four Seasons. Who doesn’t? Especially when it’s played as well and as passionately as this performance! After a little sleuthing I discovered the virtuoso’s name is Aleksandr Hrustevich, a Ukrainian-born musician who began playing the bayan at age 6. And what pray tell is a “bayan”? It’s a Russian chromatic button accordion, an instrument largely unknown in the United States, but gaining momentum in Europe [because of Mr. Hrustevich].

Aleksandr Hrustevich with his bayan
Aleksandr Hrustevich with his bayan

Don’t worry, this isn’t your brats-with-beer-and-lederhosen kind of accordion [not that there’s anything wrong with that]. This is classical accordion. Perhaps you’ve never experienced classical accordion until today – great, you’re in for a treat! Aleksandr has what I would call “extreme mad skills” on the bayan. And, I’m not the only one who feels that way.

When Professor David Yearsley from Cornell University Department of Music saw Mr. Hrustevich’s youtube video, he wrote:

“The small stage on which Hrustevich demonstrates his art is festooned with yellow and orange balloons and fake flower garlands, the camera is hand-held, but despite all of this, you can feel how great are this virtuoso’s gifts.”

I hope this performance makes you feel as happy and joyful about life as it made me.

Now, be sure to go check out his website and give him some well deserved praise. And if you want to know even more about Hrustevich, check out this great in-depth interview at Notes on the Road. Did you know he’s jammed in concert with Bobby McFerrin? Yep. Cool.

Thank you, Aleksandr, what more can I say? I bow to you. – MoSop

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