Piazzolla pulses with Latin spirit

Jacques Ammon has fire in his fingers as he pumps the soul of South American into the Argentinean Tango.

Composer:  Piazzolla
Repertoire: Concierto para Quinteto; Seasons in Buenos Aires; Fuge y Misterio; Angel Suite
Artists: Jacques Ammon (piano), Artemis Quartet
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Instrumental
Label: Virgin Classics 267 2920

It takes five to tango apparently – but as these musicians play with such dedicated aplomb, let’s not get hung up on the numbers. Classical musicians who attempt Piazzolla often flounder for the same reason they struggle with jazz: the notes on the page can only take you so far into the essence of the Argentinean Tango. This music flows from the soul of the country, but Ammon (from Chile) and the Artemis Quartet (Berlin-based) never sound like dilettante tourists. Seasons is best – as the music morphs from Chaplinesque whimsy towards thorny neo-Bachian counterpoint, the musicians’ understanding of Piazzolla’s idiom is boundless. 

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