Gidon Kremer performs the work of composer, arranger, bandoneón virtuoso, and tango master Astor Piazzolla. The acclaimed violinist has assembled a group of musicians modeled after the legendary quintet Piazzolla used for his performances—violin, guitar, bass, piano and bandoneón. Kremer's passionate readings of the composer’s works range from haunting to romantic to rigorous to melancholy.
In his liner notes accompanying the recording, composer John Adams says of Astor Piazzolla, “It is a rare musical mind that can elevate a single small musical form like the tango into an expressive vehicle of such depth and range. The impression we take away from experiencing these tangos is of a complete and indigenous native voice, one whose roots were as innately Buenos Aireian as Tchaikovsky’s were Muscovite.”
One of the most original artists of his generation, violinist Gidon Kremer performs the work of composer, arranger, bandoneón virtuoso and tango master Piazzolla, displaying a new dimension in both his playing and repertoire for Hommage á Piazzolla. Kremer (who collaborated with Adams on the Nonesuch release of Adams’ Violin Concerto) has assembled a group of musicians modeled after the legendary quintet Piazzolla used for his performances--violin, guitar, bass, piano and bandoneón. Diapason said of his performance with these musicians earlier this year in Paris, “Gidon Kremer remains the most unsurpassed inventor of his instrument. He is a tremendous musician at the service of the most beautiful tangos in the world. The Nonesuch recording will immortalize this encounter.”
After World War II, inspired by American jazz and concert music, Piazzolla revolutionized the Argentinean tango. “For me,” he once said, “tango was always for the ear rather than the feet.” His “Nuevo Tango,” with its intense melancholy, harmonic and rhythmic innovations, enraged traditionalists but became immensely influential among musicians and music fans around the globe.
Adams continues in his liner notes: “These harmonic sequences have a sense of inevitability in the way they pull inexorably toward the cadence, and it is the core of Piazzolla’s art to arrange--or to postpone--these arrivals in the most wrenchingly bittersweet of ways. It is as much as saying that you have finally arrived home, but home is no longer the same. Your house has been razed, and strangers now live in the neighborhood where you once played as a child.”
On Hommage á Piazzolla, Kremer is highly successful at conjuring that emotional tug-of-war in his interpretations of Piazzolla’s music. His passionate readings of the composer’s works range from haunting to romantic to rigorous to melancholy. One of the world’s best-known classical violinists, Kremer ventures into this musical style for the first time.
Produced and engineered by Peter Laenger, Tritonus Musikproduktion, Stuttgart
Recorded July 1995 at Castle, Lockenhaus, and January 1996 at Studio Guillaume Tell, Paris
Assistant Engineer: Marcus Heiland
All compositions by Astor Piazzolla, except track 10 by Jerzy Peterburshsky. Arrangements: track 2 by Gustavo Beytelmann, track 3 by José Bragato, track 4 by Svjatoslav Lips, tracks 5-8 by the performers, track 9 by Carel Kraayenhof, track 10 by Leonid Desyatnikov, track 11 by Sofia Gubaidulina, Gidon Kremer, Vadim Sakharov
Design by Barbara deWilde
Cover photograph by Isabel Muñoz
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz
Gidon Kremer, violin (1-11)
Vadim Sakharov, piano (1, 3, 6-11)
Alois Posch, double bass (1-3, 6-10)
Michel Portal, clarinet (2, 9)
Per Arne Glorvigen, bandoneón (2, 3, 5-10)
Friedrich Lips, bajan (4)
Svjatoslav Lips, piano (4)
Vladimir Tonkha, violoncello (4)
Mark Pekarsky, percussion (4)
Paul Meyer, clarinet (6)
Elisabeth Chojnacka, harpsichord (8)