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Piazzolla: Sinfonia Buenos Aires

> Sinfonia Buenos Aires, Op. 15 - I. Moderato - Allegretto
> Sinfonia Buenos Aires, Op. 15 - II. Lento, con anima
> Sinfonia Buenos Aires, Op. 15 - III. Presto marcato
> Aconcagua - I. Allegro marcato
> Aconcagua - II. Moderato
> Aconcagua - III. Presto
> Las 4 estaciones portenas (arr. L. Desyatnikov) - Otono Porteno (Autumn)
> Las 4 estaciones portenas (arr. L. Desyatnikov) - Invierno Porteno (Winter)
> Las 4 estaciones portenas (arr. L. Desyatnikov) - Primavera Portena (Spring)
> Las 4 estaciones portenas (arr. L. Desyatnikov) - Verano Porteno (Summer)

Album Summary

>Piazzolla, Astor : Sinfonia Buenos Aires, for orchestra ("Tres Movimentos Sinfonicos")
>Piazzolla, Astor : Concerto for bandoneon & orchestra ("Aconcagua")
>Piazzolla, Astor : Las estaciones porteñas (4)
Performers Conductor Ensemble
  • >

Notes & Reviews:

Astor Piazzolla's name has become synonymous with tango, the signature dance of his native country, Argentina. In the 'Sinfonia Buenos Aires', Piazzolla's development of symphonic tango is notable for brilliant, original and often complex orchestration. His 'Bandoneon Concerto', nicknamed 'Aconcagua' after the highest Andean mountain, provides the soloist with ample opportunities for drama, pathos and virtuosity. 'Las Cuatro Estaciones Portenas' (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires), a series of single tango movements with several references to Vivaldi's famous work, is a vivid sequence in which the changing moods of the seasons are expressed by means of an almost limitless emotional range and depth.

"The works on this disc span much of Astor Piazzolla's compositional career, from the Sinfonia Buenos Aires of 1951 to the Concerto of 1979. The latter has a title, "Aconcagua", the highest peak in the Andes, but it was not given by the composer. All of this music is stunning, and it's marvelously performed here. The best-known work, naturally, is an arrangement: Las Cuatro Estaciones, here in the version for string orchestra by Leonid Desyatnikov.

I have to confess that I prefer a more varied scoring in this music, but it would be very hard to beat this performance for clarity and beauty of texture. Tianwa Yang handles the solo violin part with aplomb, digging into the "dirty" sounds--the glissandos and other effects--with relish, but without ever coarsening her tone as so many others routinely do. There's elegance here as well, and she finds it. The result is that the "Spring" fugato, for example, has amazing rhythmic definition but also a very welcome lightness and freshness.

The Bandoneón Concerto offers a perfect marriage of Piazzolla's tango-saturated melos with large-scale form. It's worth recalling that the composer spent several years studying with Alberto Ginastera, as well as Nadia Boulanger, and all of his music in whatever form betrays a very high level of compositional craft. Daniel Binelli plays the solo part extremely well, and he's perfectly balanced against the larger ensemble. He also participates (to a lesser degree) in the Sinfonía Buenos Aires, in which the influence of Ginastera is very evident (and entirely welcome).

This early work is thrilling: a blend of Latin rhythm, soulful melody, explosive percussion, and now and then a touch of Stravinsky. The finale will blow you away, and there are some haunting timbres in the slow movement featuring the combination of bandoneón and woodwinds. The Nashville Symphony under Giancarlo Guerrero plays all of this music with the necessary guts and also a welcome degree of polish. The players sound completely at home in the idiom, and Guerrero delivers bold, uninhibited interpretations across the board. This is just a great disc of colorful, distinctive orchestral music, and it belongs in every collection."-classicstoday.com

"The arrangement played on this new recording...accentuates Piazzolla's admiration for Vivaldi more than most: classical-style scoring notably devolves into Concerto Grosso textures in Spring as instruments peel away in solo excursions...they show Piazzolla a musical communicator of Vivaldian originality and individuality, who like his predecessor pushed instruments to their limits" -Classic FM Magazine *****

MusicWeb International
This really is a most engaging collection, the freshness and spontaneity of Piazzolla's writing matched by the committed, idiomatic playing of all concerned. The violinist Tianwa Yang certainly makes a good impression in Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas(The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires). This is a much more imaginative, rhythmically alert arrangement... The sweet, sentimental sounds of the bandoneón are most artfully echoed on the fiddle, Yang switching from Vivaldian formality to urban insouciance with disarming ease.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Laura Turner Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center (11/21/2009-11/22/2009).


A Piazzolla grab-bag, but beautifully played
The Nashville Symphony Orchestra really showed their stuff in Latin American repertoire with their highly-regarded Naxos recording of the complete Bachianas Brasileiras of Villa-Lobos in 2000 (conducted by the late Kenneth Schermerhorn). This new Naxos disc brings this strong tradition to the most important orchestral works of Astor Piazzolla, under the direction of Nashville's dynamic Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero. The Sinfonia Buenos Aires was written under the influence of Piazzolla's teacher Alberto Ginastera. Though this rather episodic work doesn't share Ginastera's formal mastery, it's a sprawling, colourful symphonic work (or rather, three symphonic movements). The Concerto for Bandoneon is, I think, more successful. It may, in fact, be Piazzolla's best orchestral work, partly because the solo instrument is scored for strings and percussion only. The final work on the disc is Las Cuatro Estaciones Portenas (Four Seasons of Buenos Aires), in a version for violin and orchestra made by Leonid Desyatnikov after Piazzolla's death. Though I'm not a complete musical purist - I love Charlie Parker's sessions with strings, for example - I'm not a fan of this particular pastiche. Piazzolla's nuevo tango style is itself a melding of traditional tango, Baroque, and jazz styles, so it's natural to experiment with new orchestrations. But I much prefer this music in a bandoneon-led small group. That said this version is very well played indeed, with Tianwa Yang providing some hair-raising turns on her violin. Thomas May's thoughtful liner notes include a wealth of pertinent information about Piazzolla's life and music. This is just one of the areas in which Naxos excels. The label has raised the art and business of classical music to a very high level, especially considering the state of today's musical commerce.
Submitted on 10/29/10 by Dean Frey 
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Works Details

>Piazzolla, Astor : Sinfonía Buenos Aires, for orchestra ("Tres Movimentos Sinfónicos")
  • Performer: Daniel Binelli (Bandoneon)
  • Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero
  • Notes: Laura Turner Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA (11/21/2009-11/22/2009)
  • Running Time: 26 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1951

>Piazzolla, Astor : Concerto for bandoneón & orchestra ("Aconcagua")
  • Performer: Daniel Binelli (Bandoneon)
  • Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero
  • Notes: Laura Turner Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA (11/21/2009-11/22/2009)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1979

>Piazzolla, Astor : Las estaciones porteñas (4)
  • Performer: Tianwa Yang (Violin)
  • Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero
  • Notes: Laura Turner Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA (11/21/2009-11/22/2009)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1965-1970