Piazzolla (Arr. Kremer)

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COMPOSERS: Piazzolla (Arr. Kremer)
LABELS: Nonesuch
WORKS: Tangos
PERFORMER: Gidon Kremer (violin), Per Arne Glorvigen (bandoneón), Vadim Sakharov (piano), Alois Posch (double bass)
CATALOGUE NO: 7559-79407-2
I am convinced that when the dust settles on this century, the name of Astor Piazzolla will be up there in the lights. This disc of arrangements by Gidon Kremer of Piazzolla numbers serves as a poignant reminder that in Britain we heard sadly too little of this great composer and bandoneón player. We have Nadia Boulanger to thank for packing him back to Argentina when she saw that he had so much more to offer the tango than any straight-laced academic music. Piazzolla single-handedly revitalised this exquisite form, which in his hands embraces wistful melancholy, sweet bitterness, raunchiness, sultriness and innocence, never sentimental, as it sways over the syncopations of its tell-tale rhythm. Kremer captures the rough edginess, the essential sweetness and the extraordinary colours – whiplash glissandi and behind-the-bridge scrapings – to perfection, only occasionally revealing his thoroughbred classical training in perhaps a trill too fast or a double-stopping too easy. Some of the colours, in particular the string harmonics, I doubt would have been in Piazzolla’s armoury, but that’s a small quibble. Kremer and friends have done a great service – a disc for my desert island. Annette Morreau