Praetorius, Villa-Lobos, Koshkin, Morel, Piazzolla, Garcia, Pujol & Dyens

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Garcia,Koshkin,Morel,Piazzolla,Praetorius,Pujol & Dyens,Villa-Lobos
LABELS: Chandos
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Tango Nuevo
WORKS: Works by Praetorius, Villa-Lobos, Koshkin, Morel, Piazzolla, Garcia, Pujol & Dyens
PERFORMER: Craig Ogden (guitar)
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9674
More viejo than nuevo and thin on tangos, Craig Ogden’s recital is down-the-line mainstream and none the worse for that. It even has the traditional early-music opener. Praetorius’s tunes get a fairly developed treatment in John Williams’s versions, and Ogden plays them with relaxed lyricism and plenty of dynamic contrast. A typical Chandos resonant glow emphasises the guitar’s tonal richness more than its bite.

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From then on it’s mostly Latin. Five catchy chores by Villa-Lobos set a mainly vernacular-based agenda. Their soulful melodies bring out a feeling for rubato and colour which come into their own again when, halfway through, the programme reaches what its title promises. These Piazzolla arrangements show four aspects of his vast expressive range and plenty of his subtle harmony and pacing — the third starts as if it is going to be a fugue, but just keeps up a fizzy line with melancholy interludes.

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Gerald Garcia puts his name to versions of Irish-inflected Baroque pieces by Turlough O’Carolan, and time out in Russia finds Koshkin’s Poe-inspired, wrong-note-bass waltz more quirky than ghoulish. But tango has the last laugh when Dyens’s would-be parody turns out to work brilliantly as a straight virtuoso study. Robert Maycock