In March, the attendees of the 2011 39th Hong Kong Arts Festival were fortunate to see Lost Tango, a program of Piazzolla's music performed by German chanteuse, Ute Lemper, and a group billed as the Piazzolla Sextet. The importance the promoters of the festival assigned to the performance was signaled by the fact that it was the finale on each of the three days of the festival. There was an early teaser video for the concert on YouTube but until today's video appeared, there has been no way the rest of us could get a glimpse of the program. The video is disappointingly short of musical highlights but there is enough there to suggest it was quite an evening.
Ute Lemper does not quite have the drama of Milva or the direct lineage to the music of Amelita Baltar but she certainly comes from the same mold as those two well established Piazzolla vocalists. She has recorded some Piazzolla in the past but this appears to be the first time she has devoted a full concert to the music of tango and, apparently, mostly to the music of Piazzolla. She sings in English in the video but a review of the concert indicates she also sang in Spanish, French and German. The Piazzolla Sextet features two veterans of Piazzolla's quintets - Hector Console on contrabass and Fernando Suarez Paz on violin. They are joined by Ricardo Lew on guitar, Marcelo Nisinman on bandoneón and a pianist who is not identified but is probably Nicolas Ledesma who frequently performs with Nisinman, Lew and Suarez Paz. The final member of the sextet is Daniel "Pipi" Piazzolla, Astor Piazzolla grandson and founder of the wonderful tango/jazz group Escalandrum. The video has interviews with Nisinman, Suarez Paz and Piazzolla but unfortunately very little music from the Sextet.
Lost Tango was assembled by British music producer Pablo Farba and is going on the road. A number of appearances have been scheduled in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland in November and December of this year with, hopefully, more to come. The scale and nature of the program suggest a DVD or at least an audio recording could be on the way.
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