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The Piazzolla Project / Artemis Quartet


Release Date: 06/30/2009 
Label:  Virgin Classics   Catalog #: 67292   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jacques Ammon
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Classical musicians have long been intrigued by the late Argentinian tango composer and bandoneonist Astor Piazzolla. Violinist Gidon Kremer has recorded his own Piazzolla interpretations and, less surprisingly, Kronos Quartet collaborated with the composer himself on one of their better crossover CDs. Now it's the turn of the Artemis Quartet and Chilean pianist Jacques Ammon to try their hands at this elusive music. Actually, cellist Eckart Runge and Ammon have already worked together in an upscale crossover duo called celloproject in which they haved played Piazzolla as well as jazz and film music. Here they tackle one of Piazzolla's more ambitious compositions, "Estaciones Portenas (Seasons In Buenos Aires)," based on Vivaldi's Read more "Seasons" and arranged for piano trio. The quartet also plays various of the composer's "Angel" themes (including the mournful "Milonga del Angel") in the newly arranged "Suite de Angel for String Quartet." The tart, unsentimental quality of Piazzolla's music at its best is captured here by a contemporary ensemble that understands rhythm as well as texture.

R E V I E W S:

The Artemis Quartet cellist Eckart Runge has been fascinated by the tango music of Carlos Gardel and Astor Piazzolla since the mid-1980s, discerning in it a blend of joy and melancholy.

Over the past decade, he has collaborated with the Chilean pianist Jacques Ammon as the tango duo Celloproject, a pairing that has now been expanded to involve Runge's Artemis bandmates for these chamber pieces by Piazzolla. "Estaciones Porteñas", a vivid portrait of the four seasons as experienced in Buenos Aires, may prove to be his most enduring composition, duly rendered with restrained elan here.

-- The Independent (UK)

The Artemis tango their way into the tasteful crossover limelight.

You might have thought that the train for Piazzolla recordings by classical musicians had left quite a while ago. However the Artemis Quartet are tangoing their way into the tasteful crossover limelight with their latest disc on Virgin Classics: “The Piazzolla Project”. The name reminds me of something pompous the Emerson Quartet might do, but the content is of such quality that the transcriptions for Piano Quintet, Piano Trio, and String Quartet are good listening any time, unfazed by the coming and going of tango fads. It had to be done now, too, because before long the Quatuor Èbéne, fresh on Virgin, will want to record similar crossover material with which they already regale audiences.

It’s all there: Estaciones Porteñas, Piazzolla’s homage to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. La Muere del Angel and the rest of the Angel Suite, which everyone has played, from Emanuel Ax (with Pablo Ziegler), to Gidon Kremer, to the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic. Fuga y Misterio (from “Maria di Buenos Aires”), that has been brought to us by the likes of LAGQ and Imani Winds. None of that gets old, because it’s fabulous music.

The Concierto para quinteto, the one rarely recorded work, is the most charming of them all. And while the Artemis Quartet and wonderful pianist Jacques Ammon interpret and play Piazzolla in a way that remains solidly in the classical concert realm, their passion and virtuosity brings them close to the free-wheeling, almost improvisatory spirit that lies at the core of the music.

Among the classical-Piazzolla discs I most cherish are Barenboim’s “Mi Buenos Aires Querido” and Josep Pons’ orchestral disc on Harmonia Mundi. The Artemis Quartet, led by their long time Piazzolla adoring and performing cellist Eckart Runge, has a good shot at joining them.

-- Jens F Laurson, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Concierto para quinteto by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jacques Ammon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
2. Las estaciones porteñas (4) by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jacques Ammon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967-1970; Argentina 
3. María de Buenos Aires: Fuga y misterio by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jacques Ammon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1968; Argentina 
4. Introducción al Angel by Astor Piazzolla
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; Argentina 
5. Tango del angel by Astor Piazzolla
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
6. Milonga del Angel by Astor Piazzolla
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; Argentina 
7. La muerte del Angel by Astor Piazzolla
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962; Argentina 
8. Las estaciones porteñas (4): Primavera porteña by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jacques Ammon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; Argentina 
9. Las estaciones porteñas (4): Otoño porteño by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jacques Ammon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; Argentina 
10. Las estaciones porteñas (4): Verano porteño by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jacques Ammon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; Argentina 
11. Las estaciones porteñas (4): Invierno porteño by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jacques Ammon (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; Argentina 
12. Resurrección del Angel by Astor Piazzolla
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; Argentina 

Sound Samples

Concierto para Quinteto for Piano Quintet: Introduction, allegro - Lento, improvisando - Piu vivo fugato
Estaciones Portenas (Seasons in Buenos Aires) for Piano Trio: Otono Porteno - Tempo di Tango
Estaciones Portenas (Seasons in Buenos Aires) for Piano Trio: Invierno Porteno - Andante
Estaciones Portenas (Seasons in Buenos Aires) for Piano Trio: Primavera Portena - Fuga
Estaciones Portenas (Seasons in Buenos Aires) for Piano Trio: Verano Porteno - Tempo di Tango
Fuga y Misterio for Piano Quintet: Movido - Lento
Suite del Angel (Angel Suite) for String Quartet: Introduccion al Angel - Tango, moderato
Suite del Angel (Angel Suite) for String Quartet: Tango del Angel - Tempo di Tango
Suite del Angel (Angel Suite) for String Quartet: Milonga del Angel - melancolico
Suite del Angel (Angel Suite) for String Quartet: La Muerte del Angel - Fuga, movido

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Perfect realization of Astor Piazzola April 6, 2013 By L. Catalano (San Francisco, CA) See All My Reviews "As I have said before, I am presently rediscovering Astor Piazolla and his uniquely beautiful music. This disc is probably the perfect realization of this unique composer's very accessible music. I did not miss the bandoneon. I loved their beautiful performance and the wonderful energy they use to project Piazolla's tango spirit. The playing is virtuosic, passionate, and authentic to the way Piazolla would have like his pieces to be played. I especially loved the Angel Suite which is an interesting way of presenting his Angel pieces. Milonga Del Angel is one of my favorite Piazolla pieces. If you want this unique music played by an outstanding group, run out and get this recording." Report Abuse
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