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Another new 5 stars review in Fanfare

December 15, 2022

Kim Meltzer

Album for Astor is Danish accordion virtuoso Bjarke Mogensen’s centenary tribute to Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). In his introductory comments, Mogensen describes the album’s concept: “I decided to base my tribute solely on Piazzolla titles but also dived headlong into a varied and comprehensive listening experience, an hour of interchangeable accordion solos, instrumental duos, and pieces that I arranged for myself and a small group of mixed instruments.” Mogensen’s collaborators are Johan Bridger (vibraphone), Mathias Heise (harmonica), and the Danish Chamber Players. Album for Astor is a splendid and uplifting tribute in every respect. Astor Piazzolla was both an instrumental (bandoneon) virtuoso and composer of the first rank. Piazzolla’s Tango Nuevo, a celebration of infectious melody and rhythm, and daredevil instrumental execution, is an irresistible and revolutionary synthesis of the seductive Argentine dance with elements of classical music, jazz, etc. Mogensen’s colorful arrangements always keep Piazzolla’s music front and center. The artists’ spirit of collaboration and enthusiasm for Piazzolla’s music are evident throughout. They bring all the virtuoso bravado, panache, and hearty embrace of Piazzolla’s celebration of life one could hope for. The recorded sound is excellent. Joshua Creek’s superb notes on Piazzolla’s life and legacy, as well as commentary on the featured works and instruments further enhance this worthy tribute. Recommended to admirers of Piazzolla, and to all who seek an uplifting musical experience. Ken Meltzer Five stars: Bjarke Mogensen’s brilliant Piazzolla tribute

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