Hommage à Piazzola. Gidon Kremer and friends. Nonesuch 7559-79407-2 (1996)

Hommage à Piazzola. Gidon Kremer (violin), Michel Portal (clarinet), Paul Meyer (clarinet), Alois Posch (double bass), Per Arne Glorvigen (bandoneon), Friedrich Lips (bajan), Vadim Sakharov (piano), Svjatoslav Lips (piano), Elizabeth Chojnacka (harpsichord), Vladimir Tonkha (cello), Mark Pekarsky (percussion). Nonesuch 7559-79407-2 (1996), barcode 075597940725




Recorded July 1995 at Castle, Lockenhaus, and January 1996 at Studio Guillaume Tell, Paris

If you are not tired yet of tangos and Piazzolla, this is a safe recommendation
3 September 2019

If you are not tired yet of Tangos and Piazzolla (Piazzolla’s contemporary tangos are easy-listening, so over-production, over-consumption and satiation threaten), this CD is a safe recommendation. The arrangements are clever and imaginative, varied, with a few effects that go in the direction of “contemporary music” (like the “scratching” sounds at 7:40 in track 6 – I think they are produced by the violin -, or in track 8 where Elizabeth Chojnacka’s harspichord obviously remembers Ligeti, Xenakis and all the stuff she’s championed), and they help pull the music away from the ordinary and hackneyed. The tracks alternate, as they should, between slow-meditative-sentimental and fast/rhythmic (sometimes within the track, with slow intro and fast second part). Track 7 even offers a kind of Tango-sonata for bandoneon, piano and double-bass by Bach.

Kremer had tackled Piazzolla before, but this was his first CD entirely devoted to the composer. He continued to be a big champion of Piazzolla. Other similar Piazzolla-Kremer CDs on Nonesuch that may be worth exploring include:

7559-79462-2 El Tango, with the Astor Quartet and guest artists (1997), barcode 075597946222

79568-2 Vivaldi / Piazzola Eight Seasons, with Kremerata Baltica (2000), barcode 075597956825

7559-79601-2 Tracing Astor, with Kremerata Baltica and soloists (2001), barcode 075597960129

7559-79613-1 “Gidon Kremer Live at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio”, with the Astor Quartet (2012), barcode 075597961317

7559-79882-9 Tango – Ballet, Concierto del Angel, Tres Piezas para Orquesta da Cámara, with the Astor Quartet and Kremerata Musica (2012), barcode 075597988291, reissued from Teldec 3984-22661-2 (1999), barcode 639842266123. I’m not sure that the Nonesuch edition was issued separately, out of the compilation box that I mention last.

7559-79883-1 (2 CDs) Maria de Buenos-Aires – Tango Operita, with Kremerata Musica (2012), barcode 075597988314, from Teldec 3984-20632-2 (1998), barcode  639842063227. Same comment about the Nonesuch edition as for Tango-Ballet.

And they were collated in 2012 on 7559-79872-6 “Hommage à Piazzola – The complete Astor Piazzolla recordings”, barcode 075597987263

Comments are welcome