Tango!: Music by Piazzolla, Bragato, Arizaga

Camerata Bariloche

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Tango!: Music by Piazzolla, Bragato, Arizaga Review

by Adam Greenberg

Camerata Bariloche is the Chamber Orchestra of Argentina -- not necessarily generally specializing in tango, as the instrumentation might suggest. This album goes over a few works of the great Astor Piazzolla, written for string orchestras, as well as a couple of pieces from Jose Bragato and Rodolfo Arizaga. The compositions on this album, however, are not necessarily written exclusively as tangos simply because Piazzolla was the creator. The music in most parts is incredibly sparse and dry for an average Piazzolla tango. There is no driven backing music in many, and as the liner notes imply, it can at times sound almost like Aaron Copland's work. The works by Bragato and Arizaga work better under the circumstances, but are still not entirely giving of the tango feel. Secondarily, the passion inherent in a tango -- the bitterness, the sugary frills, the piercing violin trills -- are all missing. It seems that perhaps the tango should be played only by small tight-knit groups of musicians. When larger-form orchestras take it upon themselves to perpetuate the genre, they simply prove this point most of the time. This album is no exception. If you're a hardcore fan of Piazzolla and must have all of his albums for a collection, pick it up, as some of these works are quite rare, especially outside of Argentina. If you're not, then try to stay away from this album and pick up actual Piazzolla performances, or even Yo-Yo Ma's Soul of the Tango.

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