ASTOR PIAZZOLLA: Tangos for Violin, Brass and Percussion (arr. by Donato De Sena) = Violent Tango, Amelitango, Sad Tango, The Four Seasons in Buenos Aires, Mister Tango, New Tango, History of the Tango: “Bordel 1900,” Death of the Angel, Meditango, Ave Maria, Oblivion, Libertango – Quintetto de Ottoni e Percussioni della Toscana/Andrea Tacchi, violin – Naxos 8.572611, 64:09 *****:
Piazzolla’s unique music has been arranged and performed by all sorts of music ensembles large and small, as well as solo performers. Here’s a somewhat different and most exciting twist on this much-loved music – a septet consisting of professors of each of the instruments at leading conservatories in Italy, with the arrangements done by one their members. The group has been around for over 20 years and performs film music as well as original brass repertory. They have appeared with symphony orchestras around the world. The sound seems a bit more classically-oriented without the bandoneons, piano or string bass, but it is precise, skilled and often just as passionate as the standard tango quintet.
Some of the 15 selections may be new to many ears, but the concert concludes with lovely arrangements for the ensemble of two of finest and most popular Piazzolla tangos: “Oblivion” and “Libertango.” The first was part of a film score for a 1984 movie based on a Pirandello drama, and the latter is a strongly energetic piece which had been a big hit with both French lyrics and later with English lyrics sung by Grace Jones. Most of the pieces are rather short, but the 19-minute four-movement suite “The Four Seasons in Buenos Aires” is the centerpiece of the program, moving Vivaldi’s idea of musically describing the four seasons from Venice to Buenos Aires. Each of the four possess their own picturesque themes.
Excellent sound for standard CD, but I couldn’t help thinking of being in the center of a hi-res surround recording of this unusual ensemble.
— John Sunier
Budapest Quartet Plays Brahms – String Quartets Nos. 2, 3; String Sextet No. 2; String Quintets Nos. 1, 2 – Pristine Audio
Another historic release from Pristine — Brahms, Budapest