Astor Piazzola would have turned 80 years old in 2001, and 2002 marked the tenth anniversary of his death. Thus motivated, Quarteto Amazônia chose to launch this CD, which is completely dedicated to the works of the Argentinean composer. The disc got its start in 1989, when Piazzola had just written "Four for Tango" for the Kronos Quartet. Introduced by Piazzola himself to Kuarup's owner/producer Mário de Aratanha, cellist/arranger José Bragato, a personal friend and archivist of Piazzola's who had written quartet arrangements for his "Adiós Nonino" and "Fuga y Misterio," asked Aratanha to show them to Quarteto Amazônia's cellist, Alceu Reis. The quartet embraced the idea, and while the other arrangements continued to be produced by Bragato, they opened with "Fuga y Misterio" at the Leblon Theater (Rio de Janeiro) in 1997. With the success of the idea confirmed by the audience, the project was finally recorded in 1999 and 2001. The chosen pieces include Piazzola's widely known "Adiós Nonino" (written in 1959 under the impact of his father's death), "Fuga y Misterio" (from the operetta Maria de Buenos Aires, written in the early '60s), "Tres Minutos con la Realidad," "Invierno Porteño" (one of his Four Seasons), "Milonga del Angel" and "La Muerte del Angel" (his tributes to Vergara Leuman), the fugue "Calambre," and the suite "Silfo y Ondina," which was included on one of his less-known works, Tango Ballet, written in 1956 for Silvia Osuna's ballet company. Keeping the balance, in classical quartet formation, between the rhythmic drive demanded by the tango, with its Afro-Argentinean tradition, and the observance to the precision and expressivity required by the classical execution was the challenge brilliantly met by Quarteto Amazônia, one of the leading chamber groups in Brazil. The high quality of their performances was already established internationally. This superb, moving release only confirms it.
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