This latest album from the Katona Twins fully sustains the standards set by their previous three releases for Channel Classic. … Highly recommended.
Astor Piazzolla revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed “Tango Neuvo”, incorporating elements of Classical music and Jazz. At first his “Tango Neuvo” was met with resistance but after composing a number of successful tangos, his “Tango Nuevo” gradually gained acceptance both in Argentina and in Europe and North America. The composer Markus Horn adopted the style of “Tango Nuevo” for this recording with the Duo Villarceaux, composing in the spirit of the great Argentinian composer as well as including some of the famous Piazzolla tangos. The result is a highly varied and coloured programme exhibiting virtuosic and evocative South-American flair from the two young pianists.
Inspired by a general love of the tango, and more specifically the tango of Astor Piazzolla, on the part of Yo-Yo Ma, the Soul of the Tango album is a masterful work of the nuevo tango, played by Ma's cello and many of Piazzolla's former associates. Piazzolla's old guitarists Sergio and Odair Assad even showed up to work on a pair of tracks arranged by Sergio: the Tango Suite (consisting of Andante and Allegro). The sheer beauty of one of Piazzolla's tangos is generally enough to warrant the purchase of an album involving them. An album such as this one, where all of the songs (save one: Tango Remembrances, where Ma plays along with outtakes from Piazzolla's recording of The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night album) are compositions by Piazzolla is even better. Add to this the masterful playing of Ma, and the surprising facility in which the cello fits into the tango, and you've got what could become a classic album, if only it weren't on the classical label from Sony.
"Brilliantly capturing the essence of this true legend at this live gig recorded almost twenty years ago at the end of a 30 date european tour, they were fired up and ready for it."