Amy Briggs: Tangos for Piano

Album review
Amy Briggs: Tangos for Piano

Amy Briggs

Tangos for Piano

Label: Ravello
Media: CD
Genre: Classical
Ratings:
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These are modern-era “concert tangos,” not vernacular numbers danced on stages and in ballrooms, cabarets, and bars around the world. Some are modernist, post-tonal, even subversive, whether angular or recondite or vaporous, splashing tone-clusters up and down the keyboard. Others are nostalgic and bittersweet, their mockery affectionate and appreciative, retaining the traditional triadic harmonies, supple figurations, danceable rhythmic lilt—and the tango’s elegant yet erotic, ceremonious yet primal essence. Modernist tangos include Colon Nancarrow’s airy and intricate Tango?, David Rakowski’s slinky Zipper Tango, Amy Williams’ cascading-to- a-single-high-note Astoria, and variously spiky, complex offerings from Per Norgard, Jason Eckardt, Jeffrey Mumford, and Betsy Jolas. Nostalgic tangos are led off by Stravinsky’s great 1940 exemplar, followed by Lou Harrison’s sweetly melodious Tandy’s Tango, Ross Bauer’s incisive Mango, Pablo Ortiz’s ornate Piglia, Stacy Garrop’s antic Teeny Tango, Astor Piazzolla’s passionate Escualo, and Yu-Hui Chang’s dreamy, oblique, disillusioned, and very beautiful Tangled in Smoke. The variety of idiom, texture, devices, and mood in these 22 miniatures is wide, yet almost all are engaging, clever, and evocative. Pianist Amy Briggs plays with finesse; sonics are detailed but sumptuous, with lots of ambience and bloom. 

More Info

Contributors:
  • primary artist, Amy Briggs
Purchase:
  • CD

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