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Hommage A Piazzolla

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 20, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most original artists of his generation, violinist Gidon Kremer performs the work of composer, arranger, bandoneon virtuoso and tango master Piazzolla, displaying a new dimension in both his playing and repertoire for Hommage a Piazzolla. Kremer (who collaborated with Adams on the Nonesuch release of Adams' Violin Concerto) has assembled a group of musicians modeled after the legendary quintet Piazzolla used for his performances--violin, guitar, bass, piano and bandoneon. On Hommage a Piazzolla Kremer is highly successful at conjuring that emotional tug-of-war in his interpretations of Piazzolla's music. His passionate readings of the composer's works range from haunting to romantic to rigorous to melancholy. One of the world's best known classical violinists, Kremer ventures into this musical style for the first time.

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Gidon Kremer, who plays the standard violin repertoire so well, has remained a restless explorer of music. Here is his first album of Piazzolla arrangements, introduced by a moving and perceptive assessment of Piazzolla by composer John Adams. Kremer has completely steeped himself in the spirit of the tango, and of Piazzolla's transformation of this music into concert works. The selection (mostly larger-scale Piazzolla works), the varied arrangements, and the compelling quality of the playing make this one of the best albums of this music not involving the composer's own performances. And if you love it, you'll be glad to know that Kremer's second Piazzolla album is also available. --Leslie Gerber
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Product Details

  • Performer: Elisabeth Chojnacka, Vadim Sakharov
  • Composer: Astor Piazzolla, Jerzy Petersburski, Paul Dessau
  • Audio CD (September 20, 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J48
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,155 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kurt Harding VINE VOICE on April 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first became aware of this CD several years ago as its melancholy strains wafted through the air of a bookstore through which I was browsing. My ears perked up...Piazzolla!!! Upon inquiry, I was shown the CD and I immediately purchased a copy. I couldn't wait to get home and listen to it at elevated volume. What a recording!! Kremer has captured and distilled the essence of Piazzolla's music. Every song is a masterpiece and nearly all of my favorite mid-period Piazzolla compositions are contained within. A special treat is the magnum opus which closes the set, a 12-minute rendering of Le Grand Tango with just Kremer's violin and the restrained passion of Vadim Sakharov's piano to lead your mind into another musical dimension. Gidon Kremer has since recorded a number of Piazzolla-related CDs and in so doing has set himself up as the unofficial interpreter of El Maestro's music. If you like Piazzolla, you are sure to enjoy this CD. I give it my highest recommendation.
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Format: Audio CD
I was captivated by this recording after hearing bits of it on the radio. It grabs you by the lapels.... and then it grows on you. These readings of Piazzola's works are not as urbane as Yo-Yo Ma's, not as dignified as the Eroica Trio's, but I'm gonna stick my non-Argentine neck out & say these Russian & French musicians (consummate artists; this is no sloppy-but-soulful performance) are closer to what I've grown to see as Piazzola's mournful, peculiar, desperate, perverse spirit. These are not tango arrangements for the faint of heart.
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Format: Audio CD
Ever have a moment where you loved someone so much you hated him?

Ever have a relationship you could not get out of your mouth, your mind, your heart, your system, but that you knew was over and done with forever and ever, and you'd never even see the other again?

Ever feel so happy you wanted to cry? No, sob? Wrenching, wracking sobs? From happiness, now.

Yes?

Have I got a CD for you: Hommage a Piazzolla, featuring Gidon Kremer.

Like many, I suspect, I have a mixed relationship to tango. When I put on a tango CD, I fear I'll be hearing something that sets my teeth to jangling and makes me want to slap someone in the face.

This isn't that. You could listen to most of this while sitting perfectly still, on a window sill, in fact, with the lights down low in your apartment, as you stare out at the rain-slicked city at night. A drink sits on a nearby table, unfinished...you have no will to finish it.

(It's hard not to imagine these things while listening to this music; really, it's all so poetic, cinematic, irresistable.)

At some point, though, you're probably not going to be able to sit still any more, and you'll have to put that rose in your teeth and cut a few moves.

Tango often sounds, to we non-Argentinians, like a parody of itself.

This CD does not.

Rather, when I put it on, not at all sure what to expect, I had one of those epiphanies that art can give you.

I had been brooding over a vexed relationship, one I did not understand, but knew was hurting me, not with any immediacy, but like a sore tooth that could stand to go a few more months before you get over your fear of the dentist to get it fixed.
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Format: Audio CD
I was introduced to the music of Astor Piazzolla by the more than great violinist Gidon Kremer when he played a virtuosic tango as an encore. Whenever a rich new vein of wonderful music is opened to me, well, it makes for a bright and happy day. Not long after I picked up this CD and I can recommend it to you highly. This is more than just tango dance music, these are serious and contemplative compositions that use the Tango as the vehicle just as the classical and especially Baroque composers used their dance music for instrumental compositions. The music is full of mood, sensuality, rhythm, lush harmonies, dissonance, love, and pain. It is a music of contrasts and never gets too fussy or complicated. It wears its heart on its sleeve and draws us in because it is so charming.

Each piece has its own varied ensemble and the musicians in that ensemble also arrange the music for that track. Kremer leads from the violin in all of them, after all it is his album and his hommage to Piazzolla. However, the instruments used depend on the musical materials and mood of the piece. The piano is used quite a bit, and at times there are wind instruments. The bandoneón is required in tango, as well. It is a kind of concertina that was developed and made in Germany, but adopted in Argentina for the Tango. It has a wonderfully reedy sound and is played with buttons on each side of the bellows. Depending on the model, the note can change or stay the same whether you are pulling the bellows out or pushing them in, but in all of them there are two voices always at the octave and gives the bandoneón its characteristic sound.

The only composition not by Piazzolla is a very interesting tango included as a tribute to the master entitled "El sol sueño" by Jerzy Peterbushsky.

This is good music and a very enjoyable change of pace.
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