Filmmaker Miguel Kohan offers an affectionate tribute to the grand old men and women of tango in this documentary tracing the career of the exceptional musicians from the 1940s through the new millennium. While some outsiders see tango as simply a dance, to many Argentineans it is literally a way of life - especially the citizens of such cities as Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Rosario. Within these cities dwell some of the very same people who drive tango to popularity back in the 1940s and 50s, some of them still performing the same dances that they did during the golden age of tango.
Like most Spanish maestros de capilla, Puebla, Mexico, Padilla composed a great number of chanzonetas or villancicos. These charming and melodious works encompass exquisite charm and refined elegance to unabashed humour; they are frequently framed with dance rhythms, often in a characteristic uneven triple time with abundant syncopation. All the words in this gender have melodic instrumental lines and accompaniments with great variety of possibilites: from a solo voice to a full choir.
The instruments were characteristic of Renaissence music: recorders, dulzian, shawms, cornets, voils, organ, crumhorns, etc. In Mexico, villancicos achieved such popularity that they were published even when paper was very scarce, and important works such as some writings of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz could not be printed.
In the middle of the 1990s the album Black Coffee was produced, an enigma in Kaas' career. In 1995 it was decided to produce a work specially for the American market containing exclusively English lyrics. Rumours state that the album was never officially sold. It occasionally becomes available in online auctions, however, but the authenticity of these records is in doubt.
Recordings of Beethoven's Triple Concerto, Op. 56, by a piano trio rather than by a group of virtuosi (a configuration that almost always misunderstands the work) are not abundant. Still rarer are those like the present release by the Storioni Trio, a Dutch group that takes its name from the maker of the 1790s instrument played by the violinist (and strung, like the viola, with gut strings). Pianist Bart van de Roer plays an 1815 Lagasse fortepiano. This recording is part of a series devoted to Beethoven's piano trios, but the Triple Concerto actually is more comfortable in those surroundings than when forced to keep company with the likes of the Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61.
Composer Claude-Bénigne Balbastre came at the end of the French Baroque keyboard tradition that produced François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau. Composed in 1759, these pieces look back toward the tradition of French harpsichord music, with its individual piece titles designating various members of the French nobility and their individual personalities. Thirty years after Couperin announced the reunification of French and Italian tastes, they show only light influence of Italian style; the clearly diatonic, periodic Allegro tune of "La Laporte," track 16, is the exception. Nor does Balbastre attempt to take after the intellectual density and harmonic complexity of Rameau's keyboard music. Instead his little musical portraits have a mostly pleasant, pastoral mien, with harmonic touches that are unusual and evocative rather than difficult.