Galliano is an outstanding accordion and bandoneon performer who plays with great passion and spirit. He is even more heightened in this setting with the I Solisti Dell'orchestra Della Toscana, a large string ensemble, pianist Stefano Bollani, harpist Cinzia Conte, and a pair of percussionists. Galliano or his hero Astor Piazzolla wrote this richly romantic music, based in classical, chamber, and tango traditions. The middle of the CD features four of Galliano's shorter pieces. "San Peyre" features typical lush, skyline vistas, Galliano's wistful musings, and "Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" flavorings. The quick waltz "La Valse a Margaux" sports some incredible unison lines between accordion and strings. Bollani's lilting piano adds to the hymnal classicism of a gondolier's regret on "Melodicelli," while the piano-led, dark tango "Habanerando" (with harp) is nothing short of majestic. Galliano wrote the three-part suite "Opale Concerto," the allegro movement an urgent 5/4 and 6/8 motif mixing with active, scattered strings; "Deuxieme" is a sober, swelling, throbbing slowed waltz; and "Troiseme" is back to a more energized 4/4 like a fast freeway jaunt, then settled and pining, and again anxious. Piazzolla's suite "Concerto pour Bandoneon" starts with a "Premier" movement that is aggressive, pulse-pounding, and deliberate; another "Deuxieme" with Galliano's bandoneon, harp, and lead violin pulls heartstrings in tip-toe, cat-like delicate, but firmly wrought phrases; and "Trosieme," in presto mode, is loaded with passionate bursts. Also included is Piazzolla's famous number "Oblivion" with more lush romanticism and traipsing strings backing Galliano's heartbroken accordion. This recording is filled to the brim with the compact emotionalism one expects from French or Argentenian style of impressionistic music. Galliano does this tradition proud.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos