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Notes and Editorial Reviews
This set was nominated for the 1999 Grammy Award for "Best Opera Recording."
Although this recording of 'María de Buenos Aires' will probably be found in your store's opera section, it might be more at home elsewhere. Described as a "tango operita" by its creators, this work is more closely allied with cabaret and musical theater styles. María is the tango personified: born in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, she is drawn into the city's lowlife; after dying there, her shadow is condemned to roam the streets. The story is told in a series of flashbacks and vignettes--the Goblin narrates, and it is he who finally effects María's redemption by allowing her to bear a child, also named María.
Gidon Kremer and his Kremerata Musica play this
music with an obvious devotion and an earthy elegance appropriate to the music. Argentinean singers Julia Zenko (María) and Jairo (all other vocal roles except the Goblin) sing and speak their roles with ease, giving no hint of the fact that they joined this production just a week before it began rehearsals. Librettist Horacio Ferrer rounds out the ensemble in the spoken role of the Goblin, beginning and ending the tale of María with a worldly, aged tone as well as participating in the drama in between. Read less
Works on This Recording
Maria de Buenos Aires by Astor Piazzolla
Gidon Kremer (Violin),
Per Arne Glorvigen (Bandoneon),
Horacio Ferrer (Spoken Vocals),
Vadim Sakharov (Piano),
Alois Posch (Double Bass),
Maria Fedotova (Flute),
Julia Zenko (Voice),
Ula Zebriunaite (Viola),
Marta Sudraba (Cello),
Peter Sadlo (Percussion)
Buenos Aires Lyric Chorus
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1968; Argentina
Date of Recording: 1997-98
Length: 134 Minutes 27 Secs.
Notes: Arranged: Leonid Desyatnikov (1997)
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Amazing! ... Mystifying! July 13, 2012
By K. Krueger (Evergreen Park, IL) See All My Reviews
"Astor Piazzolla's music is incredibly wonderful! Horacio Ferrer's poetry is haunting and it's meaning is puzzling. The musicians' performance is ethereal. The only question is, what on earth is this "operita" about? ...the life and death of a prostitute? ...an allegory for the fortunes and woes of the great city of Buenos Aires? ... the life and resurrection of the human soul? I don't know, and I really don't care, it's wonder and its mystery are enough. One doesn't always have to have everything spelled out.
I discovered this opera because in April 2013 the Chicago Opera Theater will present it, and, before I am privileged to see/hear it in person, I wanted to experience its music and the words if only via a recording. Now the C.O.T. folks say its ..." On a night in Buenos Aires, Older Payador sits alone, finally allowing himself to recall the painful memories of the Dirty War in Argentina, some thirty years before, when he lost his love, Maria. All those who were lost still haunt him." Alas, that's a prophetic reading, at best. Maria of Buenos Aires was written years before Argentina's "dirty war." But never mind. Whether you get to see/hear a performance here in Chicago or not, if you love Piazzolla and his music, his soul is in this work!
This recording features that Piazzolla aficionado, Gidon Kremer, and mostly Argentine musicians, as well as the librettist in the spoken role of the narrator. I think that's about as close to original intentions / understandings as one can get. And best of all, the liner notes make no attempt to ferret out the definitive meaning of this ever haunting work. Buy this CD set, it includes the libretto. You'll never be sorry you did.