Katona Twins – Astor Piazzolla: Le Grand Tango (2004)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 54:20 mins | Scans included | 2,92 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Scans included | 1,11 GB
This album from the Katona Twins fully sustains the standards set by their previous three releases for Channel Classic. Highly recommended.
By Polly Nomial January 13, 2009
A wonderful disc of some of the best duo playing (guitar or otherwise) that one could wish to hear.
Apart from the central Tango Suite, all the works here have been arranged by the Katona Twins. Most feature the Carducci String Quartet & Daniel Storer on double-bass but there is also a guest appearance by Alfredo Marcucci on the bandoneón. All protagonists play with a real vigour & passion that makes one convinced that all the pieces were written for the duo (& friends).
Whilst this music does not have the sophistication of say a Mozart sonata, it is far removed from the transient, disposable world of what is dubbed “pop culture”. Much of the music is very enjoyable & memorable indeed & has an poignantly anguished element that is unusual in “lighter” fare. Having visited Buenos Aires, it is remarkable how adeptly that Piazzola captures the sole of the city & perhaps more remarkable how well these Hungarian guitarists & British string players (Marcucci is of course a native of Buenos Aires) reflect the style of playing of the tango in this great metropolis. It is all to easy to find oneself tapping along (crudely!) to the seductive rhythms…The engineering from Channel Classics is absolutely 1st-rate. The scale is absolutely perfect & one can imagine reaching out & handing the players refreshments in the hope that the recital would continue some more – sadly, one is bought back to reality after nearly an hour of pure escapist bliss. Highly enjoyable & recommended enthusiastically.
By georgeflanagin July 5, 2006
Piazzolla has become something of a celebrity composer in the past few years. 30 years ago, I made it through 2 semesters of music history without hearing anything about him except for his name. This album has a good sampling of Piazzolla’s small scale music, although … only 1 piece on this disc was actually written for the forces that play it. If you like guitar, this will be an appealing arrangement. If you are after The Real Thing in Piazzolla, it may not.
The playing is clean. The sound is natural, to the point where it passes the LIAR test.** The recording serves the music very well. Most good hifis will produce satisfying sound when the instruments being reproduced are guitar, string quartet, & bandoneon, which is exactly what we have here. Channel Classics showed admirable restraint in keeping this recording within the bounds of good taste: you feel like you have a good seat in a small venue, not 1 with your left ear on the sound hole of 1 guitar, & your right ear on the other.
I played this album a couple of times a week when I 1st bought it; less so now. It is a good introduction to music from Piazzolla’s part of the world in the mid-20th century. Piazzolla’s music is less complex than Villa-Lobos, & more melodically memorable. In other words, much of this music is something that you find yourself able to sing along with.
At 55 minutes, the price is a little steep for the market niche served: a sampler of music by Piazzolla, arranged by the artists for performance with their chosen “2 guitars, et al.” format. On the other hand, because I have little acoustic guitar music in the piles, I am able to play something for guests who are curious, & who like guitar. The best cuts are 4-6, which form the “Tango Suite for 2 Guitars,” & I like #7, which is “Tres Minutos con la Realidad.”
** LIAR test: Coined by some audio magazine years ago, it is the Listening In Another Room test. In other words, if you hear the sound down a hallway do you feel the need to peek in the door to see if it is a live performance.
02. Otono Porteno
03. Milonga en re
04. Tango no. 1
05. Tango no. 2
06. Tango no. 3
07. Tres Minutos con la Ralidad
11. Le Grand Tango
Peter and Zoltan Katona – guitars
Alfredo Marcucci – bandoneon
Daniel Storer – double bass
Carducci String Quartet