David’s Review Corner, Oct. 2017

Turn the clock back fifty years and I attended a concert of music by the Argentinian composer, Astor Piazzolla, played by a traditional South American touring group. It wedded me to the composer, but sadly I have seldom heard that evening recreated, his music having been arranged, rearranged and generally mauled by those wanting to use it for their own commercial purposes. Here we have it serving to display the quite remarkable virtuosity of the Argentinian violinist, Tomas Cotik, who ideally creates the steamy atmosphere of some sleazy South American dance hall, as you look through the cigarette smoke filled vista, his small group seemingly fashioning the music as the mood takes them. Notes are bent as the dancers go through the erotic actions of the tango that is the basis of all Piazzolla’s music. In a previous review of Cotik playing Piazzolla, I begged the question, was Piazzolla composing ‘Classical’ music? That was his oft stated intent, but here we have ‘Classical’ musicians sending it in reverse, with jazz the dominating factor. There is the well-known Milonga del angel; the highly emotional, Balada para un loco; seductive Jeanne y Paul from the film, Last Tango in Paris, and my particular favourite, Las cuatro estaciones portenas. They are all quite superb, and if you want Piazzolla played by a violin, piano, double bass, and percussion, this has to be one disc you cannot afford to miss.  David Denton