Piazzolla: Concerto for Bandonéon; Tres movimientos tanguísticos porteños; Tangos

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COMPOSERS: Piazzolla
LABELS: Harmonia Mundi
WORKS: Concerto for Bandonéon; Tres movimientos tanguísticos porteños; Tangos
PERFORMER: Pablo Mainetti (bandonéon), Lluís Vidal (piano); Teatre Lliure CO/Josep Pons
Astor Piazzolla died four years ago at the age of 71, just when the international music world was at last becoming aware of his originality and uniqueness. Piazzolla had been a pupil of Nadia Boulanger and Alberto Ginastera in his youth, yet turned his back on European music to explore that of his native Argentina. He wrote tangos, but he reinvented the dance form in a way that took it far from the smoky dance halls of its origins. In his pieces the borders between jazz, art-music and popular song were consistently blurred; they remain utterly unclassifiable. This collection provides a superb introduction to Piazzolla’s world – the Concerto for Bandonéon (a grown-up concertina) has neo-classical overtones, though the pungent harmonies are utterly his own, the Tres movimientos insinuate the dance rhythms into dark, threatening orchestral studies, while the five ‘straight’ tangos have a rhythmic flexibility and spontaneity that are totally compelling. It’s wonderful, unique stuff. Andrew Clements