Sinfonia Buenos Aires Bandone
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Astor Piazzolla' name has become synonymous with tango, the signature dance of his native country, Argentina. In the Sinfonia Buenos Aires, Piazzolla' development of symphonic tango is notable for brilliant, original and often complex orchestration. His B
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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 it's 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.
I highly recommend it.