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You want an introduction to the work of one of the 20th century's greatest musicians? I can't get my head round how good this one is. There are 2 CDs of music - from the popular song - CD 1 track 2, to the classical - influenced by Bartok - CD 2 track 2, to the jazz influenced CD 1 track 9, and film and dance music with above all the development of Tango Nuevo. Every human emotion and passion is here, from the wild, berserk 'Chin chin' to the tender 'Volver', from the sensual to the sexual, from the seasons of Buenos Aires to saying bye to his dad. As a performer Astor Piazzolla was a virtuoso of the bandoneon- a type of accordion eg.CD 1 track 8. He got the best out his musicians, whether in quintet, sextet, or octet, because he stimulated them at every level. ( eg. pianist on CD 1 track 11.) A track with a difference is 'Goooal'. For me, it is one of the most convincing portrayals in music of the nature of football and the tension leading to a goal being scored. There are tracks with singers, there is a track 'Oblivion' with a full orchestra. The music comes from Buenos Aires, Milan, Montreal- some from live events. The CDs are accompanied by good sleeve notes, (although I would like more.) Piazzolla died in 1992 and a new generation of musicians is discovering what he made - over 3000 works and over 500 recordings. I can completely recommend this introduction to him - as composer and performer, - a great working musician whether in the studio, the theatre, the concert hall or the night-club.
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on 27 November 2011
Another year, another compilation of tango's bad boy, Astor Piazzolla.

On this double album, Nascente have taken the unusual step of including from different record labels and thus different periods of Piazzolla's career, including not just his most famous work on Sony/BMG but a lot of selections from his time in Italy (Aldo Pagani-Carosello and Milan Music). Was it a good idea? I'm not sure. In a nutshell, most of the good stuff is from the 1980s and the other selections are a bit hit and miss. Full track list at the end (note that at the time of writing, CD1 and CD2 are reversed on the mp3 version, here are my comments on selected tracks:

Disc 1
Track 2: "Tres Minutos Con La Realidad" - sounds like a bandoneón version of the fight scene from west-side story.
Track 3: "Vuelvo al sur" - classic track from the 1980s with Goyeneche.
Track 5: "Soledad" - one of Piazzolla's best compositions from his Italian years
Track 6: "Milonga Del Ángel" - a beautiful version
Track 9: "Oblivion" - beautiful track from the 1980s. will live for ever.
Track 10: "Los Sueños" - classic track from the 1988 film 'Sur'
Track 11: "Los Sueños" - beautiful and rare solo bandoneón version
Track 14: "Volver" - again, a beautiful and rare solo bandoneón version

Disc 2:
Track 2: "Balada para un loco" - we get the historically important recording with Amelita Baltar, but we should have had the far superior live version with Goyeneche.
Track 3: "Luna" - a lovely track not often heard.
Track 4, "Chin Chin" is Piazzolla at his mad worst/best
Track 5: "Lo Que Vendrá" - beautiful violin playing from Antonio Agri
Track 6: "Cambalache" - here is Goyeneche at last, but with a track that doesn' really belong in Piazzolla's repertoire
Track 9: "Hace Veinte Años" - disastrous
Track 10: "Goooal!" - do you like 70s guitar in the background of your tango? Didn't think so...
Track 12: "La Casita De Mis Viejos" - beautiful bandoneón solo
Track 14: "Introducción A Héroes Y Tumbas" - genius

In summary: possibly worth it to get the good stuff, but there's some dreadful tripe mixed in.

CD 1

1 Escualo
2 Tres Minutos Con La Realidad
3 Vuelvo Al Sur
4 Adios Nonino
5 Soledad
6 Milonga Del Angel
7 La Muerte Del Angel
8 La Resurreción Del Angel
9 Oblivion
10 Los Sueños
11 Los Sueños - solo bandoneón version
12 Invierno Porteño
13 Primavera Porteño
14 Volver

CD 2

1 Libertango (live version)
2 Balada Para Un Loco (with Amelita Baltar)
3 Luna
4 Chin Chin
5 Lo Que Vendrá
6 Cambalache (with Roberto Goyeneche)
7 Jeanne y Paul
8 Bandoneón
9 Hace Veinte Años
10 Goooal!
11 Otoño Porteño
12 La Casita De Mis Viejos (with Roberto Goyeneche)
13 Milonga de La Anunciación
14 Introducción a Heroes y Tumbas
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