TANGOS… & SOMETHING MORE
Alicia Terzian is a world-recognized, award-winning composer, conductor, and musicologist. She is on the faculty of the Fine Arts Academy of Chile and Spain and is the conductor of Grupo Encuentros, the official group of the International Encounters for Contemporary Music Foundation and the only permanent group in Latin America.
The pieces leading up to Terzian’s masterwork—Aquiles Roggero’s Mimí Pinsón, Mariano Mores’ Cristal, and Astor Piazzolla’s Picasso—create a nostalgic backdrop to the beginning of the album. The tangos pay homage to the decadence of Old Hollywood and the jazz age, but with a haunting touch added by the ghostly sound effects tucked within Cristal. Terzian’s own composition, Buenos Aires, you’re going to kill me, is a four-movement work for piano with electroacoustic sounds and poems. Utilizing soloists, textured layering, and electroacoustic sound manipulation, the movements range from adventurous and lighthearted to eerie and dark, capturing the many different sides of a major city’s personality.
The next piece is Jukka Tienssuu’s Tango lunar, an instrumental quintet with an equally rich melody. Malena, too, is remarkable: this 1940’s tango by Lucio Demare is beautifully sung by Marta Blanco. Roque de Pedro’s thick and soulful, yet equally intimate In the bar as a tango was dedicated in 1989 to Grupo Encuentros. Un Argentino de vuelte begins as a delicate fantasy sonata for piano but is interrupted by the entry of the tango ensemble and a scat singer. Their melody becomes something of a ritornello. A solo flute drives the composition into power play against the vibrato of the bandoneon, which eventually wins, breaking down into a solo cadenza. The beautiful piano solo returns followed by an occurence of the ritornello.
Next is Los Mareados, a powerful Spanish anthem; followed by Verano Porteño, a trio for violin, cello, and piano. Closing the album is Llamado de Tambores, a work for instrumental sextet and voice, which includes a piano solo, a romantic vocal solo, and a bandoneon solo. From Terzian’s own compositions to those she celebrates on this album, TANGOS…AND SOMETHING MORE demonstrates that the development of this genre is only at its beginning, and excitingly so.