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Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992)
Giora Feidman plays Piazzolla: Moderato Tangabile [3:45]; Chant et Fugue [7:08]; Preparense [5:05]; Tristango [8:15]; Lo Que Vendra [4:01]; Milonga del Angel [5:45]; Fracanapa [3:58]; Hommage [6:43]; Marron y Azul [4:39]; Kicho [6:30]; Tanti anni prima [5:51]
Giora Feidman: clarinet and bass clarinet (Track 10)
Raul Jaurena: bandoneon (soloist on Tracks 3,7,9)
South West German Chamber Orchestra of Pforzheim/Vladislav Czarnecki
WARNER CLASSICS 0927-19505-2 [61:44]


Argentinian 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. 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!

Steve Arloff

 



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