[20020041] Chamber Music Series – El Tango

Chamber Music Series – El Tango

@ ASO Grainger Studio

6:00pm, Mon 4 Mar 2002

Score: 9

Short Review: Cellish

If you know me, you’re aware of my love of the cello, which approaches almost fetish status. So, given the opportunity, I like to try and eke out some good cello in my ff-plans. So I managed to squeeze “El Tango” into the schedule for my kinky little deep-string fix.

Unfortunately, the first piece played (Salzedo’s “Sonata for Harp and Piano”) was completely devoid of cello – lest it be called “Sonata for Harp and Piano and Cello”, or possibly “Sonata for Cello and Harp and Piano” (since we all know where the goodies are). Or what about just “Sonata for Cello”? But then it’d probably be written by someone else, and you may as well just listen to the seven overdubbed cellos in the opening 30 seconds of ELO’s “10328 Overture”.

Oops, might have to edit that paragraph sometime. Anyhoo, “Sonata for Harp and Piano” was an energetically moody piece, wonderfully played by Alice Giles (on the big vertical thing) and Arnan Wiesel (on the big horizontal thing). We were then treated to a two different threads of work by Astor Piazzolla. “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” (Arnan Wiesel – piano, Nicholas Milton – violin, Janis Laurs – Gods gift to the string family) managed to put a Tango-esque tinge on all the seasons; “Summer” was a feisty piece, “Autumn” moody and flighty, “Winter” morosely beautiful, and “Spring” was a bright, bouncy piece. “Histoire du Tango” (Alice Giles – harp, Geoffrey Collins – flute) consisted of three pieces, “Bordel 1900” (light and breezy, almost fruity), “Cafe 1930” (which dripped with a smoky melancholy) and “Nightclub 1960” (a punchy little number).

All pieces were played well, and I’ve got no complaints at all (the cello was awesome) – except for the creaky stage and my SO’s ankle (which made a rather loud CRACK in the middle of one piece). Can’t wait to hear that on the ABC recording.

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