Carla Jablonski / Neave Trio

Celebrating Piazzolla

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Arrangements of works by Astor Piazzolla for classical ensembles are common enough, but the ordinary piano trio is a rare medium -- even if the arrangements on Celebrating Piazzolla come from close associates of the great tango composer, José Bragato and Leonardo Suárez Paz (the latter represented by one of his own tango compositions at the end), both of whom were members of Piazzolla's ensembles. As it happens, the U.S.-based Neave Trio proves an ideal classical medium for Piazzolla's Las cuatros estaciones porteñas (The Buenos Aires Four Seasons): the music is neither softened by string groups or classical winds, nor simplified in its contrapuntal and harmonic complexity: the violin and cello, with double stops, pick up most of the detail and catch the variety of attacks created in the original by the combination of piano and Piazzolla's bandoneón. Another attraction here is the group of Piazzolla's songs, much less commonly played than his instrumental music. The trio works well here, too. Mezzo soprano Carla Jablonski has a bit of an American accent but the right slightly smoky tone for the material; she's at her best in Yo soy María, from Piazzolla's tango "operita," María de Buenos Aires. An offbeat Piazzolla release that's recommended for fans of the great tanguero.

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