A rendition of a tango operita, commissioned by the Argentinian Ministry of Culture (this rendition anyway), was revived by violinist Gidon Kremer, who had such a love for the original LPs from Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer that he wanted to recreate the music. Ferrer was kept on as El Duende (the Goblin) – the role that he created when he wrote the libretto thirty years earlier. Regrettably, Piazzolla had passed on prior to the remake. Nonetheless, the arrangements and orchestrations are remarkable. The suffering and the passion of Maria (the main character in the show) are perfectly portrayed by the tango. The music changes forms as her character progresses, taking on traditional tangos, modern tangos, milongas, waltzes, and other styles to reflect changes in Maria. The music is always well-composed. This is an opera for the display of modern music, and the tango of Piazzolla is modern music at its finest.
Astor Piazzolla belongs to Buenos Aires and to the whole world as well. His music has that secret, that intangible charm and that dose of magic it takes to fascinate musicians and non-musicians alike, whatever their own styles and wherever they come from. His sharply-accented melodies and his lively, persistent rhythms with their ferocious attacks capture you and sweep you along. Then suddenly all that sonic aggression calms down in a slow section and his lyricism, his inexorable melodies, hit you inside. It's the tango, and it goes straight to the soul.
The Blu-ray version of the release 'Tango!' by the Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble features a video of the studio performance of several of the Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla's most popular pieces, including Verano Porteno, Oblivion, and Libertango. Accompanied by a special documentary, 'Music from the Heart', which presents interviews with ensemble members and behind-the-scenes footage of the studio recording process. The Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble was formed in January 2011 by the critically acclaimed Dutch violinist and violist Isabelle van Keulen especially for a series of concerts in Haarlem's Concertgebouw which showcased the music of Ástor Piazzolla.
Argentinean Astor Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 - July 4, 1992) is widely considered the most important tango composer of the latter half of the twentieth century. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. This 10CD set combines some of his greatest recordings.
It's not hyperbole to say that Astor Piazzolla is the single most important figure in the history of tango, a towering giant whose shadow looms large over everything that preceded and followed him. Piazzolla's place in Argentina's greatest cultural export is roughly equivalent to that of Duke Ellington in jazz — the genius composer who took an earthy, sensual, even disreputable folk music and elevated it into a sophisticated form of high art.
…This disc is definitely not for the listener who turns to Piazzolla to find immersion in the dark mood of Buenos Aires at the zero hour, but it is recommended to those following the still-evolving understanding of this unique creative figure of the twentieth century.