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Piazzolla: Romance del Diablo

Marco Albonetti (saxophone), et al; Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana (Chandos)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas* (arr. Albonetti); Romance del Diablo (arr. Albonetti); Oblivion (arr. P Ziegler); Años de Soledad (arr. Albonetti); Libertango (arr. Albonetti); plus P Ziegler: Improvisation on ‘Oblivion’
Marco Albonetti (saxophone), *Cesare Carretta (violin), *Virgilio Monti (double bass), *Alessandra Gelfini (piano); Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana
Chandos CHAN 20220   54:19 mins


Distinctive artistry is all too often only fully appreciated after a musician has died. While this is not broadly the case for Astor Piazzolla, it was commemorations of the composer’s death in 1992 that brought him to the attention of the saxophonist Marco Albonetti. It was love at first listen: since then, the Italian has become a leading Piazzolla expert, undertaking research in Buenos Aires for his doctoral studies. Albonetti’s scholarly understanding of the nuevo tango informs his latest orchestrations of Piazzolla’s music, performed here alongside the Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana.

A colourful rendition of Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas also known as The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires – forms the cornerstone of the collection. The four pieces were originally scored for quintet – the bandoneón parts (the Argentinian concertina played by Piazzolla) work surprisingly well transcribed for soprano saxophone.

The Four Seasons are interspersed with the wistful Romance del Diablo, Años de Soledad (featuring baritone saxophone), the famous Libertango and Oblivion (arranged by Piazzolla’s former pianist, composer Pablo Ziegler). The sentimentality of the latter is leavened with a haunting improvisatory prelude, accompanied by a repetitive single bass note. Altogether, a stand-out success among recent arrangements for saxophone (Jess Gillam’s Rise and Time, Ferio Quartet’s Revive; Marci Saxes’s Origin).


Claire Jackson