A rendition of a tango operita, commissioned by the Argentinian Ministry of Culture (this rendition anyway), was revived by violinist Gidon Kremer, who had such a love for the original LPs from Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer that he wanted to recreate the music. Ferrer was kept on as El Duende (the Goblin) – the role that he created when he wrote the libretto thirty years earlier. Regrettably, Piazzolla had passed on prior to the remake. Nonetheless, the arrangements and orchestrations are remarkable. The suffering and the passion of Maria (the main character in the show) are perfectly portrayed by the tango. The music changes forms as her character progresses, taking on traditional tangos, modern tangos, milongas, waltzes, and other styles to reflect changes in Maria. The music is always well-composed. This is an opera for the display of modern music, and the tango of Piazzolla is modern music at its finest.
Many works by the Argentinian composer Martín Palmeri are completely inspired by the style of ‘Tango Nuevo’ in terms of form and harmony, as is also the case with the tango mass Misa a Buenos Aires, composed in 1996. In his Misatango the composer combines the text of the Latin mass with the traditional music of his homeland, making the classical Roman Catholic mass, such as it has been set to music for centuries, appear in new apparel. Martin Palmeri was recently awarded First Prize in the Choral Arrangement Competition organized by AAMCANT, as well as First Prize in the National Choral Arrangement Competition by The National University of Rosario. Several of his works have been recorded, and he regularly takes part on the adjudication of choral festivals across Europe. It is fitting, considering Palmeri’s stylistic influences, that the ensemble led by Ulrich Stotzel has chosen to juxtapose works by Astor Piazzolla and Ismael Spitalnik with Palmeri’s mass.
The connections between Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim run deeper than the fact that they are both Argentines; Argerich studied with Vincenzo Scaramuzza, who also taught Barenboim's father, and the pianists both have Russian-Jewish-Argentine ancestry. They have the kind of instinctive understanding, coming from shared experiences, that makes for successful duo piano work, and that sets this live recording apart from the majority of superstar pairings.