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Classical - Released September 8, 2011 | TransArt Live

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Classical - Released November 16, 2010 | TransArt Live

This is a collection of oddities and rarities by the Argentine tango fusion master Astor Piazzolla, with songs mostly arranged for voice and piano, or instrumental pieces for arranged for piano alone. You wouldn't know that from the packaging, or from the track list containing some famous titles, or even from the booklet, which gives a standard biography of Piazzolla's career but isn't much help on the music at hand; it identifies the language of the song version of Oblivion heard here as French, when in fact it is in Italian. It's not a Piazzolla album for newcomers to his music, but it does touch on some of his compositions of the 1950s, when he still thought he might like to become a straight classical composer; these aren't often recorded, and they show his adventurous spirit. Some of the pieces aren't tangos at all; the Suite for piano of 1955 is thoroughly Parisian. There are a few of the famous tangos in restrained piano versions or vocal settings, but the only hint of the typical Piazzolla mood comes in Muerte del ángel (track 14). The rest, thanks to the voice of French soprano Magali Léger, is rather delicate. The songs mostly come from the first part of Piazzolla's career, and in only one case do they reflect the contributions of Piazzolla's favorite collaborator, Horacio Ferrer. Instead there are experiments of various kinds, such as Los pájaros perdidos, which contrasts tango with rhythmically regular art song, or the jostling tango-waltz hybrid Valsísimo (track 11), which suggests Erik Satie. More an album for the Piazzolla enthusiast than for the general listener. © James Manheim /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | TransArt Live

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Classical - Released January 27, 2009 | TransArt Live

The piano music of Tatar-Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina stands somewhat aside from the mainstream of her music, which was heavily influenced by Orthodox spirituality and various musico-mystical devices that flowed from it. This single-disc collection, however, shows that piano music played an important role in Gubaidulina's compositional development, and it includes one utterly delightful work. The album covers Gubaidulina's entire output for the piano, all of which dates from 1974 or before; the bulk of the music is from the 1960s. With the Bachian inspiration of the Chaconne, Toccata-Troncata, and Invention (tracks 1, 19, and 20), the music reveals the Shostakovich influence that Gubaidulina has spoken of but that is hard to pin down in her explicitly religious music. The sonata, composed in 1965, uses extended techniques (such as a bamboo-stick glissando executed on the piano's pegs), rough piano analogues of the unusual instrumental combinations that have characterized much of Gubaidulina's music, and contains structural embodiments of the Christian cross. Best of all are the 14 Musical Toys, composed in 1969. These are little descriptive pieces, very Russian, but not quite resembling the music of anybody else. Sample "The Little Tit" (track 8), where the focus is on the deep quiet of the forest rather than on the slight moments of birdsong. Of course, the set has a large measure of sheer humor -- try the jazz-flavored "A Bear Playing the Double Bass and the Black Woman" (track 9) -- and it ought to be much better known than it is. Recitalists: you are guaranteed to get good reviews if you program this work! At least if you play everything with the flair shown by Argentine pianist Marcela Roggeri in this live recital from Reims, cleanly recorded in 2007. An enjoyable set, and likely a must-have for Gubaidulina's admirers. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | TransArt Live

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Classical - Released November 16, 2010 | TransArt Live

Carlos Guastavino, born just four years before Ginastera and nine years before Piazzolla, was no less influenced by Argentine vernacular music than either of those other Argentine masters. But it was the Creole folk music of rural Argentina that showed up in his music, not the urban sound of the tango, and he treated that folk music in a thoroughly romantic way. Guastavino was an attractive melodist known mostly for his songs. Those are stripped of their texts here and arranged for clarinet and piano. Given the fact that an hour of Guastavino and nobody else is quite a bit, the listener may wonder about the point of this. But the program is broken up by Guastavino's brisk little Sonatine for piano, some other fun salon pieces, and a clarinet-and-piano sonata that adopts a Brahmsian idiom wholesale. It's never less than pleasant, and clarinetist Florent Héau and pianist Marcela Roggeri are in touch with its considerable charm. Probably of most interest to Argentine music fans, but quite listenable. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 7, 2018 | Epsa Music

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