Geir Draugsvoll / David Geringas / Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra

Astor Piazzolla: Sensations

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Admirers of Astor Piazzolla's tangos nuevos will relish this polished 2005 release from Delos, which presents three ambitious works for bandonéon and orchestra. Others unfamiliar with his innovative but approachable music will find in it a blend of the traditional Argentinean tango style with cosmopolitan jazz and modern classical, lavishly arrayed in rich orchestrations of a nostalgic, quasi-Impressionistic character. Purists may object to the use of the bayan or classical accordion in the Concierto para Bandonéon, and resist the arrangement by Anatolijus Senderovas of the double concerto, Hommage à Liège, for accordion, cello and strings, which was originally written for bandonéon and guitar. Yet the impassioned and vigorous playing by virtuoso accordionist Geir Draugsvoll is likely to appeal to those who find that the technical competence and emotional intensity of a performance matter more than the instruments played. That said, the album may be a little too much of the same thing in its lush textures and minor-key moods; for all the attractions of Piazzolla's vibrant and emotional music, his style is more effective and appealing in shorter forms than the concerto, which seems cumbersome and overly drawn out for his limited ideas. Delos provides exceptional sound quality.

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