Maristella Patuzzi / Floraleda Sacchi

Astor Piazzolla: Intimamente Tango

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Like the music of Bach, who influenced him profoundly, that of Astor Piazzolla can stand up well to a great variety of instrumental treatments. The Italian duo of violinist Maristella Patuzzi, playing a gorgeous 1687 Stradivarius, and harpist Floraleda Sacchi here offer one of the more extreme realizations: Piazzolla's music suggests a certain rough density the composer called "mud" that the duo of flute and harp is ill-equipped to provide. Thus it may come as a surprise that Sacchi and Patuzzi do a bit better with the famous Piazzolla tangos, mostly heard in the first half of the program, than with the more "classical" works such as the four-section Histoire du tango at the end. Those sound a bit sparse, but in the likes of Libertango (track 1) or Resurrección del Angel (track 4) the arrangements, done by the two players themselves, capture the bulk of the music. True, you're mostly getting the music for Piazzolla's bandoneón, divided between the two players, but Sacchi and Patuzzi convey not only the tune and harmonic framework but also the rhythm, intensified as necessary by Sacchi's rapping on the harp's frame. The result, nicely intensified by engineering at what is apparently a studio in Como, is indeed the "intimate tango" the graphics promise. In no way is this a definitive Piazzolla statement, but it's recommended for those who enjoy light classical treatments of Piazzolla's tangos.

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