Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Milonga Loca - Tanguedia Quintet

Is it live, or is it Memorex? Apologies to those too young or too distant from American television of the 70's to remember that commercial but the Tanguedia Quintet is Memorex to Piazzolla's Quintet. Tanguedia provides a very authentic reconstruction of the sound of the original quintet, perhaps the most authentic available today. In today's featured video they perform Milonga Loca.

The group is from Finland, a country second only to Argentina in dedication to the tango. They were formed in 2007 and in 2008, won the annual Piazzolla competition in Lanciano, Italy. Members of the group are Henrik Sandås on bandoneón, Suvi Ainali on violin, Jani Kivelä on guitar, Iikka Kotaja on piano and Olli Rantala on double bass. Their first album, Tanguedia Quintet LIVE: The New Tango of Astor Piazzolla met critical success and they just recently released a new album, Tango Querido, in which they are joined by vocalist, Angelika Klas. Unfortunately, you may have to travel to Finland to buy those recordings - I don't find them anywhere on-line (memo to Tanguedia: iTunes).

Milonga Loca is one of three Piazzolla performances posted on YouTube this week by the Tanguedia Quintet - the other two are Yo soy Maria (which includes a superb vocal by Ms. Klas) and La muerte del angel. I picked Milonga Loca only because it is the least often heard of the three. Milonga Loca was originally composed as part of the soundtrack for the movie, El exilio de Gardel: Tangos, with the working title of Tanguedia II. By the time the sound track was issued as a recording in 1984, the new title had been chosen although, curiously, Tanguedia III from the same sound track never received a new title. Piazzolla recorded the piece only one other time: for the Kip Hanrahan produced album, Tango: Zero Hour. The version in today's video more closely resembles the latter which is a little crisper and a little more challenging to the listener than the original version.

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