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Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921–1992)
Richard Galliano – Solo
Ballet Tango
[12:05]: Introduction – La cite [3:21]; L’Amour [2:58]; Cabaret [1:28]; Solitude [2:33]; Grand final [1:44];
Chiqulin de Bachinm [3:05];
Adios Noniño [5:12];
Pedro y Pedro [5:13];
Ledia’s Game [3:48];
Flora’s Game [7:46];
Sunny’s Game [3:18];
Oblivion [3:36]
Richard Galliano (bandonéon, accordion)
rec. 1992
WARNER MILAN 399044-2 [44:29]

Richard Galliano (b. 12 December 1950), was born in Nice, but his father, who was an accordionist, came originally from Italy. Young Richard studied trombone, harmony and counterpoint at the Academy of Music in Nice. At the age of 14 he started listening to jazz, where especially Clifford Brown’s improvisations made a deep impression. He has collaborated with many great musicians from various genres and is regarded as one of the most influential accordionists in the world. My first acquaintance with his music dates from about two years back when a young Swedish accordionist wanted to play a piece by Galliano at a concert with my local symphony orchestra; I was fascinated by his music. When this disc popped up on the latest request list to the reviewers, I believed it contained more of his compositions but it turned out that he devoted the whole disc to the music of Astor Piazzolla, whom he knew and was inspired by. At the time of the recording, in 1992, Piazzolla had been in a deep coma in Buenos Aires for almost two years ; he never recovered. This disc is in effect a homage to Piazzolla – and a beautiful and moving one at that.
Technically the greater part of the disc is produced through surimpression - Galliano has recorded all the parts for bandonéon and/or accordions in multi-channel technique, so the title Solo is apt, even though by and large it is ensemble music. Pedro y Pedro and the three piano preludes (trs. 5–7) are the exceptions, where he actually plays solo, the three preludes arranged for accordion by Galliano on demand from Piazzolla.
As an interpreter Galliano is a true master, playing with enormous virtuosity and rhythmic flair in the opening of the five-movement Ballet Tango. It is also highly colourful music where he sometimes tempts his instrument to sound like a musette - airy, transparent. The short Cabaret is a real swinger, while Solitude evokes a smoky bar in the wee small hours.
Chiquilin de Bachin is melancholy, melodic, slow and yearning. Adios Noniño is rhythmic but also has a catchy main theme around which he elaborates embellishments.
Melancholy permeates the tango, whether it comes from Latin America or Finland, two strongholds of tango that really are, geographically, poles apart. The final piece on the disc, Oblivion, has all the essential ingredients: it’s slow, relaxed, melancholy but with a pulse that has it always on the move. Although Piazzolla’s tangos rarely are intended for dancing one can imagine well-trained couples sliding across the floor.
Never being a dancer, tango has always fascinated me for listening and in the company of Astor Piazzolla and with Richard Galliano as the ideal guide, this disc certainly adds something to the many-faceted picture of the dance.
Göran Forsling




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