May I introduce the best Piazzolla rock band in the world? Please meet the Oblivion Quartet from Fermo, Italy, playing Tango Apasionado in today's featured video. These guys are hardcore. Not hardcore rock - hardcore Piazzolla. It is not unusual to find a rock band slamming out a version of Libertango but the odds of such a band having ever heard of Tango Apasionado much less playing it is nil. Not only does this band play Tango Apasionado, their MySpace page indicates that they have a new CD on the way which contains ten Piazzolla compositions.
Tango Apasionado is the primary theme from the musical drama by that same title which Piazzolla created in 1987, around two short stories written by Jorge Luis Borges. Pablo Zinger was the musical director for the production which had a short but successful run in New York City. Unfortunately, unresolved disputes with the Borges estate and perhaps the loss of the original musical manuscripts have prevented the work from being revived. Fortunately, much of the instrumental music survives through the excellent Kip Hanrahan produced CD, The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night.
The Oblivion Quartet actually refer to themselves as a tango-rock-fusion band which is a better description than just rock. They play a lot better than they count because their quartet contains five members: Pablo Corradini on bandoneón, Ezio Testa and Daniele de Santis on guitar, Alberto Castagna on bass guitar and Roberto Marzialetti on drums. This is not a garage band; these are highly skilled, disciplined musicians working with a thoughtfully created arrangement of Tango Apasionado. They open in a foreboding mood - bandoneón on the theme, quiet guitar on counterpoint, a heartbeat from the drum - and build to a classic stadium rock conclusion with a heavily processed guitar shred solo wailing over the band. The Oblivion Quartet has brought something new and interesting to the world of Piazzolla and I am anxious to hear more.
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