Tango: The Passion of Piazzolla

MICHAEL DRAKE The quintet devoted their whole programme to the tango variations of Astor Piazzolla.

MICHAEL DRAKE

Even with two left feet, when it comes to dancing I still got rhythm. But not so much as the quintet which last evening at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich, devoted their whole programme, sponsored by Fox Murphy, to the tango variations of Astor Piazzolla. Including three Argentines of the composer's original band, Fernando Suarez-Paz (violin), guitarist Horacio Malvicino and Hector Console (bass) were joined by Joanna MacGregor (piano) and accordionist James Crabb in bringing the jazzy tango sound to a delighted audience with a dozen or so numbers ranging from the wild Revirado to the Song of the Angel, in which one really needed to be dancing a (very) slow tango with her. This was a beautiful tune with haunting key changes and a contrasting was the midnight sounds of downtown Buenos Aires, threatening at times, reflective at others and Lunfado, the music of dock labourers and totally evocative of the scenes which inspired it.

Possibly Piazzolla's most famous composition, Adios Nonino was a lyrical and moving requiem in a long piano prelude. At the beginning of the second half the lighting became more sexy – it was the smoky tango of clubland and whilst Concierto para Quinteto was unashamedly commercial, these superb solo artists showed the worth of their hours of rehearsal with a collective virtuoso performance.

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