The second in a pair (or perhaps series) of releases by Argentine American pianist Mirian Conti, this album, like its predecessor, explores music from the pre-tango Argentine classical tradition. The music follows European models, with regional dances mixed with nationalist pictorial material. Only the Milonguero triste of Aníbal Troilo (track 7) and the "Bar Argentino" of Mario Broeders (track 14) approach the dramatic mood of tango, and the latter little piece is a nice find. The Sonatina for piano in G minor of Carlos Guastavino is an elegant and tuneful classical exercise. The other composers -- Remo Pignoni, Enrique Albano, Cayetano Troiani, Angel Lasala, Julián Aguirre, Horacio Salgán, and Mariano Mores -- are all but unknown outside Argentina. Some of the pieces, such as the tiny Danzas tradicionales of Pignoni and the Taquito militar ("military heel," with foot percussion simulating a well-drilled regiment, not "military taco"), have considerable charm. But many pieces go by in similar tempos, their dance rhythms emerging only subtly, and it's questionable whether the lover of Ernesto Nazareth, say, looking for Argentine music in a similar vein, will be consistently satisfied. The album, like most of those from the U.S. Steinway & Sons label, is superbly recorded, and Conti's clean, straightforward performances carry something of the parlor atmosphere in which this music would originally have been heard.
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AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Serie Argentina "De la pampa y los cerros"|
|Sonatina for piano in G minor|
|Motivos de la sierra y la llanura|
|Impresiones de mi tierra (Book 1)|
|Aires nacionales argentinos (Book 1)|