Infamia Tangos de Barcelona
Julia Migenes (mezzo-soprano); Albert Guinovart
(piano), Marcelo Mercadante (bandoleón), Angel Jesús Garcia
(violin) and Vincent Ellegiers (cello)
Lawrence Foster conducts Orquestra
Simfònica de Barcelona I Nacional de Catalunya
DECCA 466 764-2
Throw away your preconceptions of the tango and enjoy this album for what
it is -- a joyful, exuberant, exceedingly colourful, and sometimes dreamy
celebration of the tango as arranged for a symphony orchestra with piano
soloist (and others) and vocalist.
The opening number, probably the best known, is Jacob Gade's 'Jealousy' and
the ear gets accustomed to the symphonic treatment. It's all there the sultriness
the sensuality, the exuberance but in a more glossy package. From then on
the tracks keep getting better and better until after hearing Ernesto Nazareth's
three brilliantly coloured tangos that conclude the album one is left eager
Zara says: -
love. I liked the writing for the piano and violin and for the percussion.
Julia Migenes has just the right sultriness of voice with that special Latin
throaty twist that adds so much character to these songs. I just loved her
creamy, dreamy romantic, then passionate 'Los pájaros perdidos' (The
Lost Birds) "It was all a dream, a dream that we lost, just as we lost the
birds and the sea" -- and how well the orchestral accompaniment so vividly
evoked exotic birds and the sea. The concluding harmonies of the two voices
was a beautiful conclusion. Migenes becomes flirty as well as passionate
in the amusing Tattoo (with characteristic part for the bandoneón).
"He arrived on a ship with a foreign name
He was blond and handsome
with a heart tattoed on his chest". She is mysterious and sultry in the very
rhythmical Lo más profundo es la piel (Nothing is more than skin deep),
and she is street wise and cynical in a song about an ex-jailbird and murder
in Araca corazón (Look out heart). Finally she is affecting yet proudly
defiant in Cicatrices (Scars) - "Scars that will not heal - I loved her
passionately but she was untrue
I also liked very much the dreamy 'Infamia', beginning with bitter sweet
piano and bassoon solos before some whimsy carries the music forward into
a quiet yet beguiling tango. Albeniz's famous 'Tango in D' from España,
is arranged so that its accents are smoothed somewhat to become drowsy, dreamy
siesta music. I also loved the very romantic 'El día que me quieras'
with its beautiful solos for bandoneón, violin and cello as well as
piano, and then as a trio, and the ending is quite melting. Bravo!!
Ian Lace agrees :-
Yes, a delightful collection. I would add that I liked very much Harry Wilson's
delightful 'Brisa argentina', charming, nicely melodic tender as well as
passionate and very colourfully orchestrated. So too are the concluding Nazareth
numbers, so marvellously high spirited: 'Fon-Fon' (great fun); 'Guerreiro'
and 'Pierrot' all delightful, sunny and equally colourfully orchestrated
- and worth the price of the album alone. The arrangement of Albeniz's 'Tango
in A minor' is another fine atmospheric and evocative gem beginning with
a lovely cello solo. Then there is the sweeping sensuality of 'En esta tarde
gris' with strongly accented parts for all the soloists.
Albert Guinovart, empathises with the Latin tango idiom splendidly yet is
also equally attuned to the often more classical interpretations too. His
contribution is a major factor in the success of this album.