Astor Piazzolla

Maestro & Revolutionary: Introduction to Astor Piazzolla

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There are literally dozens of Astor Piazolla compilations out there. To be honest, most of them are shoddy at best. As a label, Nascente can be trusted. They research the work and look to assemble representative comps that capture a rounded portrait of an artist. This set is certainly no exception, and goes farther than virtually any other one out there over two discs and 28 selections. It begins with the fully developed work of Piazzolla in the 1960s. Though he was playing and recording tangos in the '40s, he was working primarily on composing 20th century classical music in the '50s and early '60s, Pauline Oliveros convinced him to begin composing music for tango. He heeded her advice and caused a serious scandal in his native Argentina by extending the palette and margins of what was traditionally music created for dancing. Piazzolla extended its harmonic and dynamic reach and used his own classical chops to make something utterly new that bore his own signature. Tracks such as the live version of "Libertango" and "Balada Para un Loco," from his tango opera Maria de Buenos Aires, as well as "La Que Vendrá" on disc one are excellent examples. Disc two offers tracks such as the title cut from La Muerte del Ángel, "Milonga del Angel" from his landmark classic Tango: Zero Hour, and the original studio version of the title track to Tres Minutos con la Realidad. The sound is excellent, and the liner notes, while rudimentary, are nonetheless accurate and contain all the pertinent information. This is an excellent buy.

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