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This review is from: Piazzolla: Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night (Audio CD)
Having not played this for a few years, I had forgotten just what a magnificent piece this is.
One of a few studio albums that Piazzolla produced during the late eighties, recorded in New York in 1987, the year after his critically acclaimed "Zero Hour". Commissioned for the stage production of "Tango Apasionado", I can't help feeling that this wonderful album has been unjustly over shadowed by his master piece a year earlier. "Zero Hour" casts its bright glow afar, and being produced in the same period as "Rough Dancer", seemingly steals all the limelight from this otherwise impressive work.
If your searching for some Piazzolla beyond the many compilations, this studio album should be near the top of your list.
Piazzolla, looking back and retracing Tango's history, hints at distant styles and melodies, intricately weaving them into a passionate work that is unmistakably Piazzolla. He stirs things up with sprinklings of dissonance and swiftly switches pace and rhythm within a heartbeat. Echoing the Baroque tradition, he develops descending melodic lines that intricately evolve and cascade into new melodies. Along with masterful counterpoint are the varied textures, adding colour and depth: conjuring up dark back streets, menacing shadows and emotional turmoil.
It moves seamlessly from the storm to the calm, an underlying tension ever present. The musicianship is, as you would expect, superb. But foremost, is the melancholy beauty of Piazzolla's melodies and the profound sense of longing they convey. This is music for the ear, not just the feet. There's a real depth and sincerity to Piazolla's canvas, it's shades are irresistibly moving. Undeniably elegant but equally gritty, Piazzolla explores new frontiers, creating something new from something old. It's emotionally direct music that's also, at times, complex.
"Rough Dancer" succinctly conveys the myriad of human emotion, whether it's hope or desolation, joy or sadness. It reminds us what being alive is about, our longings vividly captured. Piazzolla's music oozes heart and soul, beating with a resounding pulse and fresh vitality. We recognize these things in Piazzolla's music and we recognize ourselves, our passions reflected in it. This is why his music will probably resonate forever more.
"Rough Dancer" may be a star that doesn't burn as bright as "Zero Hour" across the musical landscape, but it will nevertheless burn for just as long. With this kind of quality, longevity is assured.