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Nuevo Tango Nuevo / Nisinman, Agudin, Musique Des Lumieres

Nisinman / Orchestre Musique Des Lumieres / Agudin
Release Date: 03/25/2014 
Label:  Oehms   Catalog #: 895  
Composer:  Marcelo Jaime NisinmanJulio-Martín VieraPablo Ortiz
Performer:  Marcelo Jaime Nisinman
Conductor:  Facundo Agudin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musique Des Lumières
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

NISINMAN Dark Blue Tango 1. VIERA Tangos de medianoche 1. ORTIZ Marginal 1 Marcelo Nisinman (bandoneón); Facundo Agudin, cond; O Musique des Lumiéres OEHMS 895 (44:29)

Astor Piazzolla was the man behind the Tango Nuevo. Three Argentinean composers of the Nuevo Tango Nuevo program Read more are the next generation (and possibly the one after that) writing in this revitalized genre, but enlarging the context and blurring the lines between an initially limited dance form and freer contemporary music procedures.

Marcelo Nisinman does this in the first work on the disc. Although the title Dark Blue Tango suggests a short genre piece, Nisinman’s work is a fully-fledged single-movement concerto lasting 15 minutes. Throughout, the composer deconstructs melodic and rhythmic tropes of the tango (and the waltz), then in a solo cadenza brings in fragmentary references to other popular styles associated with the accordion family. Of the three works, Blue Tango remains closest to its Nuevo Tango origins, despite straying into avant-garde harmonic territory at times.

Piano, bass, and strings dominate Nisinman’s orchestral texture, as they do once again in Julio Viera’s Tangos de medianoche. Here the atmosphere is more subdued, as you would expect from the title. Each of the four brief movements conveys a sultry nocturnal feel, with musical ideas drifting in and out of the nightscape. Although its aim differs from Nisinman’s more overt piece, Viera shares the same freedom to examine, exaggerate and/or subvert tango-derived textures and turns of phrase. The fourth movement, “Luna Extravagante,” begins with another extended solo for bandoneón. The most dancelike section of the work follows, conjuring up an image of a Latin, tango-dancing Pierrot lunaire. (Viera is the oldest and longest established of these composers, now in his early 70s. He is best known for his work in the field of electroacoustic music.)

The three-movement orchestral suite Marginal by Pablo Ortiz does not employ the bandoneón, and makes prominent use of woodwinds and a marimba, but piano, strings, and plucked bass still underline the sound picture. A central section of Marginal ’s second movement (untitled) contains the most straightforward use of dance rhythm in any of the three works, but this too is immediately deconstructed in a series of string solos.

I am tremendously impressed with the freshness of inspiration these three composers find in a genre that we might have assumed had been pretty well exhausted. Performances––which seem to have been recorded live––are thoroughly idiomatic and engaging. Nisinman, while unquestionably a genuine, serious composer who is doing more than simply writing music to show off his prowess, is nonetheless a highly proficient and sensitive exponent of the bandoneón (which was Piazzolla’s own instrument, of course). Agudin and his orchestra are equally in touch with the twists and turns required by this music; understandably, since they commissioned these three works and several others for the NTN initiative.

At 44:29, this is a short CD, but the musical rewards override such considerations. I look forward to the next volume in this series.

FANFARE: Phillip Scott
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Works on This Recording

Dark Blue Tango by Marcelo Jaime Nisinman
Performer:  Marcelo Jaime Nisinman (Bandoneon)
Conductor:  Facundo Agudin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musique Des Lumières
Tangos de medianoche by Julio-Martín Viera
Performer:  Marcelo Jaime Nisinman (Bandoneon)
Conductor:  Facundo Agudin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musique Des Lumières
Marginal by Pablo Ortiz
Conductor:  Facundo Agudin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musique Des Lumières

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