Tango a Tango – Specials of Tango Argentina – Cuarteto Bando – Auris Subtilis 5019-2000, 44.4 min. Enhanced CD [Distr. by Allegro] ****:
Astor Piazzolla – The Cavatina Duo – Bridge 9330, 58:29 [Distr. by Albany] ****:
(Eugenia Moliner, flute; Denis Azabagic, guitar)
Due to the pioneering work of the great Astor Piazzolla in melding Argentine tango with jazz, classical, and rock, tango music and often its dance and lifestyle has been geographically transplanted all over the world. Classical artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim and Gidon Kremer have celebrated Piazzolla’s music. Here are two fine new examples of “tango chamber music” – one from Germany and one from the U.S.
The four players in Cuarteto Bando got together at the end of 2006. Their sound is closer to the traditional tango quintet since it includes the vital accordion-like tango instrument, the bandoneon – here played by Jürgen Karthe. Violin, doublebass and piano fill out the quartet. I guess all that’s missing is the second bandoneon of the quintet, and it’s hardly noticed. Of the 15 music tracks on the CD only two are compositions of Piazzola, and both were unfamiliar to me; many other tango composers are represented. The CD sports both .mov and .wmv video files of their studio performance of the second track on the album, Melancolico. Nice full sound, and all four musicians seem to have the proper tango style down. The violinist is Chinese. Don’t laugh – when I once took tango lessons my instructor was Chinese; goes to show how international tango has become.
Again, the makeup of the Cavatina Duo demonstrates the present international status tango music. Flutist Moliner is from Spain and guitarist Azabagic from Bosnia. They have performed worldwide, and their repertory covers most periods of music as well as the folk traditions of their native lands. The liner notes are by guitarist/composer Sergio Assad, and he and his daughter Clarice did several of the arrangements on the CD. The Italian-flavored Libertango is probably Piazzolla’s most popular work, and it opens the album in a fine arrangement for flute and guitar by Klaus Jäckle. The two major pieces here are the Tango-Etudes and The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. The latter has seen many different versions, including for solo guitar. Assad created this version for flute and guitar. The other perhaps best-known melody of Piazzolla’s is his painfully beautiful Adios Nonino, which doesn’t seem to lose any of its power in this fine arrangement for flute and guitar.
Tango a Tango:
3 Milonguero Viejo
5 Del 1 Al 5
6 Tu Olvido [Vals]
10 Poema De Arrabal
11 Flores Negras
12 Rio Salado
13 Corralera [Milonga]
14 El Mareo
16 Fotos Und Video De "Melancolico" [CD-ROM Track]
Libertango, Revirado, Introduction to the Angel, Tango-Etudes, Oblivion, Adios Nonino, The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.
– John Sunier