Taxidermie [Audio CD] Philippe B

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Tangamente and its sibling three-CD set, Piazzollissimo, offer a full-length look at the work Astor Piazzolla did from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. On this first trio of CDs, you'll find the instrumental excerpts from the operita María de Buenos Aires (which in a later incarnation would be far better for its completeness) as well as the defining suite Tristezas de doble a and other far-reaching works. With Pulsations, Piazzolla expanded tango's vocabulary further than anyone thought he could, showing that early mentor Natalie Boulanger's mandate that the composer interject more "Piazzolla" into his modernist classical chops was well-heeded advice. The music's complexity never leaves the earthy formulation (Tango plus Tragedy plus Comedy plus Kilombo (whorehouse) equals New Tango) Piazzolla used to explain the tango nuevo that he helped invent in the mid-1950s. These are crucial documents in the evolution of a great career. --Andrew Bartlett