magicaddict: (B&W 2)
...but the way this lot work together is a little bit of genius.

These are The Piano Guys (there will be more of them in the future, oh yes), and their rendition of Angels We Have Heard On High (or Angels From The Realms Of Glory) for eight hands and a piano.



(Yes, I know they recently performed at Trump's inauguration. This was a really bad and somewhat naive move, as far as I was concerned, as they are not supporters of him. However, their reasons for it are here, and they are not remotely becuase they agreed with his politics (or any aspect of his being, by the sounds of it)).

The Piano Guys connsist of a pianist, a cellist, a videographer and a producer, but they all tend to pitch in where necessary, and this is one of the very best examples of it. This piano doesn't just get played - it gets demonstrated.

Keys, strings both pizzo and arco, percussion on the soundbox, and even tapping a bit of paper across the frame - this is a piano played in every way imaginable, in a symphony of synergic actions and movements around the instrument. The performance is magnificently crafted, very well-rehearsed, and so technically and punctually demanding that when they perform it live, they rarely if ever get it 100% correct. It sounds as though an entire band is playing, when in fact it is just a piano duet taken to an entirely different level.

I could go on about just how amazing it is, but I don't really need to explain the technicals behind it - on this occasion, just how good it is can be plainly seen without the need for diving in. This track is the permanent lead on my Christmas playlist, and will likely stay there forever.
magicaddict: (B&W 2)
...this one brings together a selection of excellent things: A fantastic soloist, and excellent group, and a very good song.

Below are Pentatonix and Lindsey Stirling collaborating to cover Radioactive (originally by Imagine Dragons). Note that this is not the last time that Pentatonix, Lindsey Stirling or Radioactive covers will be featured in my lists.



Lindsey Stirling is flat out awesome - a violinist that makes Vanessa Mae look more than a little bit pedestrian. Pentatonix are possibly even better - they are an acapella group where you are often genuinely pushed to notice that there aren't any other instruments (other than occasionally a cello). Radioactive is...pretty good, and imagined wonderfully in the video in a post-apocalyptic world, where someone clearly pressed the red button and it all went a little bit wrong.

Violin and cello seamlessly combine with voices, good video production and editing, and make a wonderful video that sounds amazing, looks fantastic and really showcases just how good these performers are. The five singers are individually excellent, and come together to harmonise beautifully. Lindsey moves like only a dancer can, adding extra dynamics to the performance before her violin even comes into play.

It's lots of really talented people working together. Listen, experience and enjoy.

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Doug Millington-Smith

June 2017

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