The concert started with two pieces written by Astor Piazzolla for orchestra and bandoneón. During the first piece, Buenos Aires - Tres Movimientos Sinfonicas, Op. 15, the accordion-like instrument (played by the world-renowned Daniel Binelli) was hidden behind the 2nd violin section. Piazzolla (a bandoneón virtuoso himself) seemed to have written the bandoneón line by carefully interweaving it through the orchestral lines. It was beautiful, however nothing like I expected. When Mr. Binelli and Maestro Guerrero emerged for the performance of the second piece (Concierto para Bandoneón "Aconcagua") the setup had changed. Binelli was in front of the orchestra, next to Giancarlo, one foot up on a chair, Bandoneón gently resting on his knee; center stage. And during this piece, instead of an entwined orchestral/bandoneón dance, the instrument took the spotlight and Binelli played it like a true master.
Of course I had listened to the new Naxos Sarasate recording featuring violinist Tianwa Yang (8572191) and I knew that she was talented. But I had never seen her perform live…and it was Piazzolla’s Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires). Tianwa’s facial expressions were of course the first thing that I noticed; intense and emotional. Then she really started playing. Tianwa executed Piazzolla’s violently written glissandos which was immediately followed by some of the most warm and tender violin playing I had ever heard. She swayed and danced, interacting with Giancarlo Guerrero (as he swayed and danced as well), making the music an interesting listen and extremely fun to watch. The orchestra hung on her every note. It was not one of those cases where the orchestra has to drag the soloist along or vice versa. It all just unfolded, in wonderful balance and perfect rhythm…kind of like a good tango.
*These rarely performed Piazzolla pieces are being recorded this weekend for future release on Naxos! Stay tuned...
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