Berta Rojas
Reviews
La Historia del Tango
/ CD Album

The title of this irresistible disc featuring guitarist Berta Rojas and Camerata Bariloche comes from the four movement work by Ástor Piazzolla that charts the evolution of the genre from its beginnings in the early 20th century to today. Along with Piazzolla, the Argentine musicians perform pieces by six other composers associated with tango, though two of the selections aren't intended to be danced. These songs, Anselmo Aieta's White Dove and Carlos Gardel's The Day You Love Me are haunting examples of music inspired by tango, including the kind of sinuous melodies that draw partners steamily together on and off the dance floor. The variety of moods that tango inspires is no better illustrated than in Piazzolla's Histoire du Tango, which opens in 1900 in a bordello and concludes with a “Concert for Today” full of dissonances and all sorts of novel ideas. But the high spirits and torrid emotions of tango can also be savoured in such pieces as Piazzolla's lyrical Oblivion, Mariano More's rhythmically zestful Military Heels and two popular songs, Aníbal Troilo's South and Virgilio Expósito's Orange Tree in Bloom, all of which seize you by the ears. The pleasures of this music can be attributed in part to Carlos Franzetti's colourful arrangements. There are wondrous mixes of sound for guitar (the vibrant Rojas), bandoneon (Néstor Marconi) and Camerata Bariloche, a crack string ensemble based in Buenos Aires who play with the depth of sonority and rhythmic gusto tango demands - whether in the night club, concert hall or recording studio.

Donald Rosemberg
Gramophone
[ England ]