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CHAN 10163
StarStar    2 Ratings
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CHAN 10163

Piazzolla: Music for Classical Accordion and Orchestra

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2003

Originally recorded in 2002


Richard Tognetti

artistic director and lead violin

James Crabb

classical accordion

Benjamin Martin


Australian Chamber Orchestra


Trackdown Scoring Stage, Fox Studios, Sydney


Colin Cornish


Daniel Denholm

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 73:29
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Select Complete Single Disc for
  Song of the Angel  

La Muerte del Angel

  Arranged by James Crabb  


  Concerto for bandoneón, string orchestra and percussion  
2 I Allegro marcato 7:53
3 II Moderato 9:17
4 III Presto 7:01

Romance del Diablo

  Arranged by James Crabb  


  Arranged by James Crabb  

Milonga del Angel

  Arranged by James Crabb  

Vayamos al Diablo

  Arranged by James Crabb  

Tres Tangos

9 Tango I. Allegro tranquillo 6:55
10 Tango II. Moderato mistico 7:59
11 Tango III. Allegretto molto marcato 4:16


The Australian Chamber Orchestra has released two recordings on Chandos to tremendous critical acclaim. The technical prowess and the vibrancy of this young orchestra’s music-making made them one of the hits at the BBC Proms in London in 2002.

As well as being a composer of enduringly popular tango-inspired music, Piazzolla was a virtuosic performer on the bandoneón. The instrument’s unique positioning of buttons allows a rich variety of harmonies to lie under the hand and Piazzolla exploited this characteristic to the full in his own music for the instrument. None of this extraordinary richness is lost when the music is transferred onto the classical accordion, as splendidly demonstrated by James Crabb on the present recording.

James Crabb’s undisputed virtuosity and musicianship have helped to further his pioneering work with the classical accordion, inspiring many exciting collaborations. He has performed several times with the original members of Astor Piazzolla’s Quintet with great success.

"From his earliest student days, Piazzolla had harboured the ambition to compose large-scale symphonic music in addition to the more compact tango-inspired pieces for which he remains best remembered. It was somewhat inevitable, therefore, that he would at some point compose a full-scale concerto for bandoneón and orchestra. This three movement work was first performed in Buenos Aires in 1979. After the composer’s death, his agent and publisher decided to give the work a more poetic name. ‘Aconcagua’ is the name of the highest peak in the Andes and Piazzolla’s agent chose this name as he felt that the concerto represented the creative summit of the composer’s achievements. When Piazzolla recorded or performed Aconcagua, he liked to couple it with another substantial work for bandoneón and orchestra, Three Tangos.

The other works included in the present recording are representative of the more concentrated style Piazzolla achieved in his short pieces for tango quintet. Milonga del Angel is one of several compositions to which Piazzolla gave the title ‘milonga’ (a nineteenth-century dance, close in idiom to the tango).The piece belongs to a series of ‘Angel’ works, which also includes La Muerte del Angel. The ‘Angel’ series as a whole remains far better known than the parallel series of ‘Diablo’ pieces. Piazzolla composed several pieces with the title ‘Tanguedia’; this example characterised by a pulsating and percussive rhythmic drive. Oblivion is a popular extract from a score Piazzolla composed for a film version of Pirandello’s play Enrico IV.

Peter Sculthorpe… is represented on this superb new disc from the Australian Chamber Orchestra (a group happily encountered more frequently these days in concert halls outside Australia)… A very fine issue.
Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’ on CHAN 10063 (Sculthorpe)

Given the Australian Chamber Orchestras customary clarity and bite, the music comes across as clean-cut and invigorating, resplendently recorded.
BBC Music Magazine

More gorgeous playing radiates from the new Chandos CD by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and their firebrand leader Richard Tognetti… the ACO respond to Sculthorpes vivid imaginings with such wild and succulent playing that you easily succumb… This is a very rewarding disc.
The Times on CHAN 10063 (Sculthorpe)

…convincing in almost every respect, the performers achieving a miraculous unanimity of ensemble while achieving the necessary element of spontaneity and urgency that underpins the works narrative.
"BBC Music Magazine ‘Pick of the Month’ on CHAN 10016 (Szymanowski, Janácek and Haas)"

Accordion wizard and company delight in a seductive and exuberant sound world.

I must say my recent purchase and download of a track by Piazolla didn't go all that smoothly. Initially I couldn't find the piece on the Chandos website and had to make an enquiry via the 'Contact' link. I received a helpful e-mail from Dean Austin advising it was available, with a link to the track in question. The purchase and download went successfully, however it was in a Windows format, and not convertible to my Apple Mac. Following further e-mails with Dean he advised I could re-download it by going into History, and changing the format to 'iaff'. I couldn't find this format on the Download page - so it's back with Dean to see if some of the other format types which are indicated, can be used.
R Simmonds

J Bright