Astor Piazzolla – Tres Minutos Con La Realidad (1997)

FrontCover1Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla (Spanish pronunciation: [pjaˈsola], Italian pronunciation: [pjatˈtsɔlla]; March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. A virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles.

In 1992, American music critic Stephen Holden described Piazzolla as “the world’s foremost composer of tango music”  …

… Early in 1989 he formed his Sexteto Nuevo Tango, his last ensemble, with two bandoneons, piano, electric guitar, bass and cello. Together they gave a concert at the Club Italiano in Buenos Aires in April, a recording of which was issued under the title of Tres minutos con la realidad. Later he appeared with them at the Teatro Opera in Buenos Aires in the presence of the newly elected Argentine President Carlos Menem on Friday, June 9. This would be Piazzolla’s last concert in Argentina.

He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in Paris on August 4, 1990, which left him in a coma, and died in Buenos Aires, just under two years later on July 4, 1992, without regaining consciousness. (by wikipedia)

And here´s one of his last concerts in Argentina … live at the Club Italiano in Buenos Aires.

AstorPiazzolla2009_02This is one of the few recorded documents of the Sextet that represents the last (tragically short) phase of Piazzolla’s career. The music is extremely dark, passionate and intense.

These are, I believe, the only live versions of the La Camorra pieces and of the Tango Ballet

There are other live recordings of this group: The Lausanne Concert,Luna,Astor Piazzolla & The New Tango Sextet: Live at the BBC 1989. There’s a video of the BBC Concert included in Astor Piazzolla in Portrait

The sextet also produced some studio work (including new pieces not found elsewhere) that is available on the various versions of 57 Minutos con la Realidad – highly recommended, (by Thelonious)

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Personnel:
José Bragato (cello)
Hector Console (bass)
Gerardo Gandini (piano)
Horacio Malvicino (guitar)
Tullio Pane (bandoneon)
Astor Piazzolla (accordion, bandoneon)

Booklet02ATracklist:
01. Luna (Levinson/Piazzolla) 10.08
02. Sexteto (Piazzolla) 10.18
03. Tres minutos con la realidad (Piazzolla) 3.06
04. Camorra II (Piazzolla) 6.40
05. Camorra III (Piazzolla) 10.13
06. Tango Ballet (Piazzolla) 11.49

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Giora Feidman – Feidman Plays Piazzolla (2002)

FrontCover1Argentinian born Feidman comes from a family of Klezmer musicians and is one himself; it shows in his treatment of these Piazzolla pieces. His clarinet soars and dives in a magical way that makes each track a real experience. I am not clear whether these particular pieces were written to be played this way. Was that what drew him to performing them or is it just his particular treatment of them? Whatever the answers this approach makes these pieces infinitely listenable.

Piazzolla was born near Buenos Aires, in 1921. He is the man responsible for dragging the tango out of the bordellos, having it accepted in the world’s concert halls and purging it of the watered down bastardised state it had fallen into in the years following the second world war. It was his father who set the young Piazzolla on his musical course by having him take piano lessons at ten and buying him his first instrument – a bandoneon. The bandoneon is a quintessentially Argentinian relative of the concertina – the ‘voice’ that makes the music of the tango so irresistible.

Seeing the great populariser of the tango Carlos Gardel in New York, where he was living, changed Piazzolla’s life. Gardel, who had already heard of the young and talented ex-pat, invited him to join his orchestra. Returning to Buenos Aires Piazzolla played with many tango bands and brought innovation to them all. He started his own orchestra in 1946 but was so frustrated by its reception that he left for Paris where, encouraged by such people as Nadia Boulanger, he set about introducing aspects of modern jazz, classical music and the music of Latin American folklore into his tango compositions.

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Piazzolla finally won the recognition he and his music deserved in Paris but it didn’t win acceptance in his homeland until the 1960s. It is hoped that someone else will take on his mantle so that this wonderfully evocative music does not slip back into stagnation and pastiche. Certainly such people as Feidman are making a major contribution towards ensuring that this does not happen.

This disc is a perfect example of all the influences Piazzolla brought to bear on tango; every track is a delight. Feidman is accompanied by Raul Jaurena on bandoneon and the South West German Chamber Orchestra of Pforzheim conducted with verve and commitment by Vladislav Czarnecki.

Thoroughly recommended! (by Steve Arloff)

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Personnel:
Giora Feidman (clarinet)
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Raul Jaurena (bandoneon on 03., 07. + 09.)
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Chamber Orchestra of Pforzheim  counducted by Vladislav Czarnecki

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Tracklist:
01. Moderato Tangabile 3.45
02. Chant Et Fugue 7.08
03. Preparense 5.05
04. Tristango 8.15
05. Lo Que Vendra 4:01
06. Milonga Del Angel 5.45
07. Fracanapa 3.58
08. Hommage 6.43
09. Marron Y Azul 4.39
10. Kicho 6.30
11. Tanti Anni Prima 5.51

Music composed by Astor Piazolla

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Various Artists – Pianissimo – Music For Quiet Moments (1998)

frontcover1Only in the silence can music touch a chord within us, and create a distant echo. And it is through the silence that the piano can open and blossom with it incomparable voice, and the vibration of it strings melt into melody.

Since the invention of the modern Pianoforte in the 18th century, composers have again and again been inspired by its special sensibilities, and the capacity of this Instrument to encompass the slightest expressive nuances and translate them into Sound.

On this album you will find a collection of the loveliest piano melodies in musical history: Whether the Adagio sosenuto from Beethoven´s Moonlight Sonata, or the Largo from his Piano Concerto, whether Listz´s Liebestraum, or Schumann´s Träumerei, the Adagio from Grieg´s  Piano Concerto or Chopin´s Nocturne, all show how this instrument has struck a chord in these Composers (Georg Stänzel; taken from the original liner notes)

Enjoy the sounds of silence !

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Tracklist:
01. Alfredo Perl: Adagio Sostenuto (Beethoven)  6.02
02. Jena Philharmonic Orchestra: Largo (Beethoven) 10.41
03. Ricardo Castro: Adagio (Mozart) 4.14
04. Carmen Piazzini: Adagio (Haydn) 5.00
05. Nadja Rubanenko: Sehr langsam (Schumann) 4.13
06. Alfredo Perl: Adagio (Grieg) 6.52
07. Carmen Piazzini:  Danza Del Moza Donosa (Ginastera) 3.26
08. Carmen Piazzini:  Cancion De Las Venusinas (Piazolla) 3.26
09. Arkady Sevidov: Barcarolle (Tchaikovsky) 5.16
10. Ricardo Castro: Nocturne No. 1 Op. 9/1 (Chopin)  5.35
11. Michael Krücker: Liebestraum Op. 62 No. 3/Poco Allegretto Con Affetto (Liszt) 4.40
12. Andreas Bach: Träumerei (Schumann) 2.17
13. Russian Philharmonic Orchestra + Vladimir Mishtchuk: Adagio Sostenuto (Rachmaninov) 11.38

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Another quiet moment
(I shoot this picture near Berchtesgaden (Bavarian Alps) in october 2009)

Aurelia Saxophone Quartet – Tango Nuevo (1994)

FrontCover1The hot Italian summer of 1982; four young Dutch saxophonists rehearsing in Via Aurelia in Rome; the beginning of a sensational, pioneering chamber-music ensemble: the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet.
Then came: Concerts throughout the world from Suntory Hall in Tokyo to the Gewandhaus in Leipzig – not to mention the little church in Marken-Binnen in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland and a municipal centre in Oristano, Sardinia which smelt of beer.

Radio and television performances from Washington, DC to Tirana, Albania. Broadcasts on the Emmeloord Patients’ Radio Network to TV Wolgograd.

Currently nine CDs to the group’s name, one of which won an Edison and international praise, setting a new standard for saxophone quartets the world over.

Collaboration with artists from all disciplines, including dance and theatre (Peter Drost, René Groothof), as well as a great many musicians: pianists Ivo Janssen and Juan Pablo Dobal, bandoneon players Gustavo Toker and Carel Kraaijenhof, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Georgian women’s choir Mzetamze, the gamelan ensemble Multifoon, Slagwerkgroep Den Haag, the Japanese saxophone quartet Trouvère, the Hague Residentie Orchestra, the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and others.

Aurelia01Over seventy world premieres of works by ter Veldhuis, Goldstein, Keuris, Andriessen and many others. The group gives compositions the chance to grow and plays pieces frequently so that they are heard often.

Astounding and ambitious arrangements. String quartets by Ravel, Debussy and Shostakovich. The Art of Fugue, the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti. Pushing boundaries for our one great love: the saxophone quartet. (Promotion text)

n 1994 the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet recorded the CD “Contrasaxeando / Tango Nuevo” with bandoneon player Gustavo Toker and pianist Juan Pablo Dobal. An extensive concert tour followed, with bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof eventually replacing Toker. The tour and the CD were devoted to the music of Astor Piazzolla and both were extremely successful.

I live part time in Amsterdam where this quartet is based. Not only are they stunning musicians, but this CD is one of my all time favorite albums of ANY music and I’m a professional musician. If you are into tango and sax, you won’t be disappointed. Also notice this is a live album and that all the pieces are arranged by different members of the quartet themselves. (Shelley A Mesirow)

Recorded live at De Rode Hoed, Amsterdam, Netherlands on 26th June 1994

BookletBackCover1Personnel:
André Arends (alto saxophone)
Arno Bornkamp (tenor saxophone)
Johan van der Linden (soprano saxophone)
Willem van Merwijk (baritone saxophone)
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J.P. Dobal (piano)
Gustavo Toker (bandoneon)

Booklet04ATracklist:
01. Escualo 5.01
02. Adios Nonino 8.24
03. Caliente 4.52
04. Astor Que Estas En Los Cielos (Toker) 11.29
05. Contrabajeando 2.39
06. Las Estaciones Portenias 10.37
07. Vayamos Al Diablo 1.59
08. Four For Tango 6.33
09. Milonga Del Angel 6.36
10. Contrabajissimo 11.24
11. Michelangelo 2.47
12. Fuga Y Misterio 3.41
13. Variaciones de la Fuga 1.11

all compisitions by Astor Piazolla except as indicated

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Astor Piazzolla – Tango Zero Hour (1986)

FrontCover1Considered by Piazzolla to be his best work, 1986’s Tango Zero Hour was the culmination of a career that began in Argentina in the 1930s. Piazzolla started out auspiciously enough working with one of the brightest lights of the classic tango era, singer Carlos Gardél. After Gardél’s tragic death in 1935 (by turning down an offer to tour with the singer at the age of 13, Piazzolla amazingly avoided the plane crash that killed Gardél), Piazzolla went on to perfect his bandoneón playing in various tango bands during the ’40s and ’50s, eventually studying with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Like she did with so many other great talents like Aaron Copeland and Quincy Jones, Boulanger encouraged Piazzolla to find a new way of playing his county’s music. Piazzolla began experimenting and soon enough perfected what is now known as “nuevo tango.” Moving tango music into the more serious area of high-art composition, Piazzolla added eccentric and, at times, avant-garde touches to the traditional format; he gained the appreciation of adventurous music lovers worldwide while alienating tango purists back home. Tango Zero Hour is the fruition of his groundbreaking work and one of the most amazing albums released during the latter years of the 20th century. Joined by his Quinteto Tango Nuevo featuring violin, piano, guitar, and bass, Piazzolla offers up seven original tango gems that take in the noirish, “Zero Hour” world found between midnight and dawn. Essential for all music lovers. ( by Stephen Cook)

AstorPiazolla1Personnel:
Hector Console (bass)
Horacio Malvicino Sr. (guitar)
Fernando Suárez Paz (violin)
Astor Piazzolla (accordion, bandoneón)
Pablo Ziegler (piano)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Tanguedia III 4.39
02. Milonga Del Angel 6.30
03. Concierto Para Quinteto 9.00
04. Milonga Loca 3.05
05. Michelangelo ’70 2.50
06. Contrabajísimo 10.18
07. Mumuki 9.32

all songs composed by Astor Piazolla

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