The posthumous reputation of Astor Piazzolla, the great Argentine composer who died in 1992, seems to increase with each passing year. His renown will no doubt grow more with the release of the Nashville Symphony's latest recording.
The disc, recorded for the Naxos label last year at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and released last week, surveys the great Piazzolla's remarkable career. It includes the "Sinfonía Buenos Aires," a relatively youthful piece that receives an elegant and refined reading from the Nashville Symphony and its music director, Giancarlo Guerrero.
The CD also features a mature masterpiece, the Concerto for Bandoneón, String Orchestra and Percussion, "Aconcagua." This amazing piece manages to refine the music of the Argentine street into high art without losing any of the street's gritty sensuousness. Bandoneón player Daniel Binelli delivers a performance that is both breathtakingly virtuosic and unfailingly sensitive.
Piazzolla's "Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas" (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires) may have found inspiration in Vivaldi's baroque violin concertos. But there's nothing antiquarian about The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, which includes some of the sexiest tangos in the repertoire. Violinist Tianwa Yang and the Nashville Symphony give glistening performances.
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