Canadian pianist Louise Bessette’s second recording from her series A Piano Around the World travels to Buenos Aires, Argentina with works by the world-renowned composer/bandoneonist/tango master Astor Piazzolla. Here Bessette is joined by Canadians violinist Marc Djokic and cellist Chloé Dominguez.
The opening work, Oblivion, is an arrangement for piano, violin and cello by José Bragato, former Buenos Aires Philharmonic member and cellist in several Piazzolla ensembles cellist. This is a tight meditative almost classical rendition with the piano groove supporting the famous alternating violin and cello melodies. Bragato also arranged the four-tango movement Las cuatro estaciones porteñas (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires) which Piazzolla composed independently between 1965 and 1970, about the city’s weather seasons. Tight performances in fast and happy Primavera Porteña. A more orchestral arrangement in Verano Porteña with cello and violin solos amidst classic Piazzolla grooves, accents, tango lines and piano flourishes.
Le grand tango (1982), written for Mstislav Rostropovich, is a one-movement original virtuosic work featuring Dominguez’s well-thought-out clear legato cello phrases above Bessette’s rhythmic piano accompaniment. Dmitriy Varelas’ violin and piano arrangement of Piazzolla’s four-movement Histoire du Tango (1985), is a decades-spanning musical tango history from the classic early high-spirited tango Bordel 1900 with Djokic’s memorable high-pitched violin lines and percussive taps, to the current Concert d’aujourd’hui, with its more atonal violin/piano lines. From the melancholy opening to tempo and mood changes, Bessette’s solo piano interpretation of Adiós Nonino is perfect Piazzolla.
A standing ovation for these respectful Piazzolla tango performances!