SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

“Sarabando” – TangoBaroque – Improvisations based on: BACH: Preludium from Suite No. 1 in G Major; MERULA: Aria de Ciacconna; PIAZZOLLA: Coral; VIVALDI: Sonata No. 5 in e minor; BACH: Suite No. 4; MERULA: Canzonetta – NorthWest Classics

Highly unusual duo of Baroque cello and bandoneon

Published on June 12, 2006

“Sarabando” – TangoBaroque – Improvisations based on: BACH: Preludium from Suite No. 1 in G Major; MERULA: Aria de Ciacconna; PIAZZOLLA: Coral; VIVALDI: Sonata No. 5 in e minor; BACH: Suite No. 4; MERULA: Canzonetta – NorthWest Classics
“Sarabando” – TangoBaroque (Tormod Dalen, Baroque cello/ Per Arne Glorvigen, bandoneon) – Improvisations based on: BACH: Preludium from Suite No. 1 in G Major; MERULA: Aria de Ciacconna; PIAZZOLLA: Coral; VIVALDI: Sonata No. 5 in e minor (“Antonio’s e-moods’); BACH: Suite No. 4 in E Flat major (“Session in E flat”); MERULA: Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna (with Roberta Roman, declamation) – NorthWest Classics Stereo SACD NWC 306168, 55:12 ****:

Talk about crossover!  This pair of Norwegian young men studied at their country’s State Academy of Music in the 1980s. They later discovered they had both settled in the same neighborhood in Paris, partly due to their common love of both early music and tango. They felt the two varieties of music had much in common: A feeling for the dance, but without percussion – the rhythmic side coming from bass instruments while the soloist played ornamented improvisations over them. Exploring the similarities and differences between Baroque music and tango eventually resulted in the pair forming the unique TangoBaroque duo.

Dalen is a well-known soloist on Baroque cello in Europe, and teaches at the Toulouse Conservatory. Glorvigen studied the bandoneon in Argentina and among his colleagues has been violinist Gidon Kremer, who also has recorded tango-oriented albums. The musical marriage of the two distinctly different genres doesn’t seem forced or unnatural in the least when listening to the amazing improvisations of these two performers. The Bach and Vivaldi selections sound like both composers were born in Argentina and are using their native folk melodies and dances in their abstract music the same way Bach, for example, used German, French and Italian folk dances in his works.  As the booklet notes state, it’s a new musical language.  The closing spoken declamation over the music, called La Nanna, did nothing for me, but since it’s the final track it can just be bypassed if you wish. The hi-res stereo reproduction is very clean and precise; multichannel is not really required for these two instruments.

 - John Sunier




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