1. Tangorama - An Anthology of 20th Century Tango, Vol. 1 / Conti

Tangorama: An Anthology of 20th Century Tango, Vol. 1 / Miriam Conti

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This panoramic survey of Argentine tangos shows the genre in all its rich variety of moods and virtuosity. It salutes Angel Villoldo, the father of...

This panoramic survey of Argentine tangos shows the genre in all its rich variety of moods and virtuosity. It salutes Angel Villoldo, the father of tango, whose El choclo (‘The Corncob’) is one of the most famous tangos of all time, and charts the music’s evolution towards the romanticism and lush harmonies of Augustín Bardi. Improvisatory styles, syncopation and jazz harmonies were introduced by such great composers as José Pascual and Orlando Goñi, whilst Enrique Francini developed his personal qualities of dissonance and rhythmic flair into the 1960s. This survey is the first in a series that will document around one hundred rare and classic tangos, all performed by the Argentine pianist Mirian Conti.

 

REVIEW:

 

Tangorama: a wonderful aural trip to the southernmost South American nation

Tangorama, Vol. 1 is the first of an upcoming series of tango albums lovingly selected and superbly played by the terrific Argentine-American pianist Mirian Conti. This first in the series features over two dozen gems that trace the development of the Argentine tango from its humble origins rooted in Afro-Argentine and Cuban-influenced dance forms birthed in the bars an dives on the shores of the River Plate to the sophisticated compositions of mid-20th century composer-performers that inflected the form with European harmonies and counterpoint while retaining the syncopated underpinning of the original dance form.

 

– Rafael's Music Notes (Rafael de Acha)

Argentine-American pianist and recording artist Mirian Conti has recently released her new solo album, Tangorama, performing a collection of 25 vintage tangos, written over the span of half a century. Tango originated in Argentina and Uruguay in the late 1800’s as immigrants poured in from all parts of Europe. They brought their music with them: waltzes, polkas and mazurkas, which blended with Cuban habanera and African candombe music and rhythms to create early forms of tango music and dance. These early years, from about 1895 to 1925, are known as Guardia Vieja, the Old Guard, when tango began to develop structure and identity. One of the early composers was Angel Villoldo (1861-1919), generally considered the father of the tango. Three of his tunes are included on this disc, all in early tango 2/4 duple meter. In 1903 Angel composed the well-known El Choclo, one of the best of the early tangos, which became a popular hit song again in 1952 as “Kiss of Fire”. Mirian performs these piano arrangements with a light, graceful touch and a delightful sense of rhythm, timing and phrasing. Another early tango is the famous La Cumparsita, the most popular tango ever written. It was composed in 1917 by Geraldo Matos Rodriguez (1897-1948), and originally written for a marching band. The tune is driven by the bold arrastre sound of slurring chords mixing with crisp staccatos.

The tango period known as Guardia Nueva, or New Guard, lasted roughly from 1925 to 1955. This included the Golden Age of the 1940’s, which was the hey-day of the big tango orchestras. Generally coinciding with the explosion of the Big Band era, tango began developing and maturing in form and complexity. Alfredo Gobbi (1912-1965) was a violinist and composer who wrote El Andariego in 1951. The tune features a smoother 4/8 meter, slower tempo, heavy rubato, and delicate staccato passages. From 1955 to 1970, tango went through an Avant-Garde period of development and began moving in new directions. Julian Plaza (1928-2003) was an outstanding musician and composer who wrote Melancolico in 1960 and Nostalgico in 1962. The tunes are intoxicating with dramatic tango rhythms, melodies and dissonant harmonic structures. Mirian presents them with beautiful dynamics and phrasing, meticulous keyboard technique and solid intuition.

This music was recorded on 15-24 September 2020 on two Yamaha Disklaviers, one each at Conti Studio in Buenos Aires and at Yamaha Artists Service in New York. Mirian Conti and G. Richard Glasford were the producers, and Aaron David Ross was the engineer. Joseph Patrych performed the mastering. A 28-page booklet is included, with photographs and commentary in Spanish and English. The sound quality is excellent.

--MusicWeb International (Bruce McCollum)



Product Description:


  • Release Date: January 15, 2021


  • UPC: 747313985623


  • Catalog Number: GP856


  • Label: Grand Piano


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Composer: Angel Villoldo, Anselmo Alfredo Aieta, Francisco De Caro, José Pascual, Juan Carlos Cobian, Julian Plaza, Mariano Mores, Pedro Laurenz


  • Performer: Mirian Conti