I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Piazzolla: Libertango

Quatuor Caliente performs tangos by Astor Piazzolla in Libertango. Libertango I do listen to music, aside from the Baroque. My two favorite jazz groups are the David Holland Quartet and Keith Jarrett Trio, but if I step out into "art" music, I open my ears to Piazzolla, who is remembered best, probably, for his use of the bandeon and his composition of tangos. I won't pretend to be any great historian regarding this composer's music, but I find much of it close to the heart. It's easy to listen to, and there is something significant being said. This new recording includes piano, bass, percussion, violin, and a guest who plays vibes. Since I'm familiar with several tracks already, the comparison with other recordings was fun. This release, unlike others, was made live. In the opening "Tangata," we hear clean playing on bandeon (accordion) then bass comes to play with percussion. You can almost sense something larger, louder, and more intense coming thereafter... the slides in the bass punctuate the human-side of this ensemble's playing. It's not always pitch perfect, or flawless, in an antiseptic way; instead, we hear the stress of their instruments, and true to the ensemble's name, the notes come to us warm, if not hot. My favorite tracks are the fast ones, including Escualo and Muerte del Angel. The violin playing is a favorite of mine. LIstening to this violinist against Gidon Kraemer is like listening to a polished professor versus a hot-blooded student. Yet, this is no insult to Quatuor Caliente, the flavor is ripely appropriate for the music. The namesake for the album, Libertango, is likewise an interesting piece. I know it best through Yo-Yo Ma's rendition. The new portion here is the use of the vibraphone. I forget that the instrument is hard to play, I think I'm listening to a jewel-like piano. It's a shame the piece is so short, because the party gets started when the tempo picks up. You can sit back, and marvel at that vibraphone playing. It's flawless, fun, and you almost want to get up and dance. Ok, my favorite of Piazzolla is his la Muerte del Angel, a piece that I've come to love in the hands of Josef Pons on an earlier Harmonia Mundi release. This one loses something in the small ensemble-guise, yet, the energy is still there, if not the sonics of a full orchestra. A fun release--get it if you know Piazzolla, get it if you don't--this is great music, and I've enjoyed listening to this disc for over a month on perpetual repeat.

Vivaldi: Concerti per archi

Magalena Kozena: Lamento