From the violinist and Piazzolla fanatic Gidon Kremer comes this album of works by Piazzolla, along with one song in tribute to the legend. He covers a decent range of Piazzolla's work, moving equally well between slower milongas and faster tangos. The album starts out with the relatively somber, but quite dramatic "Milonga en re." It then moves on to a more upbeat set with "Vardarito" and the grandiose "Oblivion." Then comes "Escualo," which has something nearly akin to a march driving it. The more nostalgic tone of "Cafe 1930" immediately follows, snapping the listener back into a somber mood. The grand "Concierto para quinteto" makes an appearance, followed by "Soledad" and the deeper, darker sound of "Buenos Aires hora cero." "Celos" follows, to be followed itself by Jerry Peterburshsky's tribute to Piazzolla, "El sol sueno." Many of the attributes of Piazzolla's compositions make themselves apparent in this tribute, though the strings are in places somewhat more standard than Piazzolla's music might normally lead one to be accustomed to. The album finishes on the aptly titles "Grand Tango," for simply violin and piano. Kremer is among a small handful of musicians that are able to aptly evoke the power of the music of Piazzolla to come along since the death of Piazzolla (Yo-yo Ma's masterful album of Piazzolla works also numbers with Kremer). The passion and emotion created by Piazzolla's tangos are performed nearly to perfection here, with the only downside being the absence of Piazzolla himself. The ensemble of Russians and Eastern Europeans makes a surprisingly good stab at Argentine music here, showing if nothing else the universality of Piazzolla's work. Pick it up as a fan of Piazzolla, but pick up some actual Piazzolla first as a newcomer.
• South American Traditions
1. Milonga En Re
5. Cafe 1930 (From "Histoire Du Tango")
6. Concierto Para Quinteto
8. Buenos Aires Hora Cero
10. El Sol Sueno (Hommage A Astor Piazzolla)
11. Le Grand Tango