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Reviews: Piazzolla: Orchestral Works - Castagna

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Reviews: 3

Review by SimonTJU May 20, 2003 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
As I understand, this is one of the first high resolution CD's of this label. Piazolla was mastered from 24/48(info from discs cover). Dispite this, the sonic is increadibly analog like! I couldn't hear any harshness and brightness, usually, associated with such PCM mastering. Superb transparency, powerful bass, wide soundstage - sonic delight. While I am not terribly familiar with the particular works of Piazolla and have no "golden standard" I love the performance - very engaging, vibrant with occasional "chills" down the spine... Highly recommended.

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Review by beardawgs December 5, 2003 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Astor Piazzolla become hugely popular thanks to his ‘tango nuevo’ band and his short tango pieces. This disc shows his other, more serious side in some of his symphonic music, still mostly inspired by tango rhythms and catchy tunes. It is a great joy to have this music so well recorded and performed, and if you like Piazzolla’s music, you should definitely check this one out.

Piazzolla wanted to be a ‘serious’ classical composer and ready to throw away his Argentinian musical heritage, but under the influence of Nadia Boulanger he used his tangos to create some truly original and engaging symphonic music. The best example for that is the first piece, Tangazo, which meanders between Bartok, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and many others till it turns all powers of full symphony orchestra into a truly magnificent tango-like theme. The rest is just as brilliant.

Three symphonic tangos are more like what we would expect from this composer, in a regular exchange between the orchestra and solo groups. “Milonga del Angel” is probably my favourite of all Piazzolla’s tangos, and even if it looses some of it’s edge in a full orchestral version, it gains some other aspects, it sounds HUGE and even more sensual.

Last piece, sinfonietta, is the earliest composed piece on here, from 1953, written before Boulanger’s advice. Piazzolla is exiting as ever, the music swings wildly around solo clarinet jazzy tune, with dance rhythms always present. The slow movement is a sombre grieving tune, owing much of its musical language to Bartok’s “Music for strings, percussions and celesta”. The finale is still in Bartok’s domain, but with ever present rhythmic twists and turns and unusual colours. It is definitely the piece you wouldn’t expect from a tango master.

Recording is (like all other Chandos SACDs) fantastic, orchestra’s sound is solid and detailed, stage huge (in surround), solo passages focused and clear, dynamic range natural. As I said, if you like Piazzolla and feel like exploring more, go for it. This disc is a perfect accompaniment to his chamber-tango discography.

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Review by M_Dixon April 2, 2012 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is among my favorite discs in my collection.

First, the performances are all fantastic, with the Tangazo especially oozing the sexiness that the Tango is famous for.

Sonics are first rate, and I must correct SimonTJU's review: The back cover clearly states that this is a 24/96 recording. Detail and dynamics are flawless. If I had to ask for one detail it would be a bit more warmth in the recording, but this is a very easy to listen to release of fantastic music by Piazzola.

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