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Astor Piazzolla in Portrait
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I went straight to the music. The set is rather short yet is extremely powerful. Piazzolla offers commentary on his music between each song, giving the listener greater understanding of what Piazzolla is about. The songlist tilts heavily toward his modern material, and though I would have liked to hear some other songs as well, I am grateful that this DVD exists at all!
Highlights are an exquisite rendering of Milonga Del Angel, Zero Hour, and what is perhaps his best-known piece, Adios Nonino. The bonus feature of a rehearsal take of Milonga del Angel with James Crabb on accordion and Joanna MacGregor on piano is beautifully done as well and is about as true to Piazzolla as one can get on an accordion.
After the music, check out the hour and forty-five minute Tango Maestro which is a biography of Piazzolla interspersed with short interviews of musicians who featured prominently in Piazzolla's life. If that isn't enough, there is nearly another hour of additional interviews with family and some of the musicians Piazzolla worked with during his final decade. This is not boring stuff by any means, all these features bring Piazzolla vividly to life.Read more ›
The biography portion of the disc doesn't gloss anything over; the comments from his family and bandmembers reveal the bad as much as the good. Among other things, we learn about his temper with his bandmates and what he said to his children when he parted with their mother. In the additional footage, I especially enjoyed demonstrations of rhythm and performance techniques by Fernando Suarez Paz and Pablo Ziegler.
Some of footage leaves room for improvement. For example, Yo-Yo Ma was interviewed in a dressing room, without respect for proper lighting and acoustics--obviously a very minor complaint, but it's no wonder his footage was left out of the television edit.
I agree with other reviewers who have said that this is a must-see for anyone who is even remotely a fan of Piazzolla's music.
There is some studio work by the Sextet (including new pieces not found elsewhere) on the various versions of 57 Minutos con la Realidad which is also highly recommended. That album also includes recordings of portions of the BBC concert documented here.
There are other live recordings of this group: The Lausanne Concert, Luna, Astor Piazzolla & The New Tango Sextet: Live at the BBC 1989 (the audio of the concert presented here), and Tres Minutos con la Realidad
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great introduction and overview of Astor. The dvd is everything I expected.Published 14 months ago by William Schiffhauer
This is a must-have documentary for any fan of Astor Piazzolla's music! It was thrilling--and perhaps even chilling--to see footage of Piazzolla and his great band play some of his... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Tony Tobia
For somebody like me that has never hear before Piazzolla's music, this DVD is excellent, as it provides not only a good sample of his music but a concise summary of his... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Robert Cartwright
Piazzolla's music will remain as well known as classical composers are remembered. Music to watch or just to relax and enjoy with eyes closed.Published on January 9, 2013 by Hugo
Brilliant, no more comments!
More thanks & Greetings from Tartu, Estonia!
All the best in this Year!
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