• Piazzolla: "Tango Distinto". Achilles Liarmakopoulos
The award-winning, Greek-born trombonist (a permanent
player with Canadian Brass) serenades and scampers with
seductively sweet tones in popular, jerky tango rhythms used by
Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). This composer gained experience of
jazz in New York and classical form and technique through
studies with Ginastera.
Assisting the soloist are backing musicians ranging from solo
guitar in two parts of Histoire du Tango, to a string
quartet in the Serie del Angel, with bandoneon (Hector
del Curto) and marimba notable in places.
Included is Le Grand Tango, written as a virtuoso item
for Rostropovich on cello, and now a brilliant tour de force
for trombone and piano (Robert Thompson). Briefer pieces
include Oblivion and Soledad.
Highlight: magnificent trombone swoops in
Michelangelo '70 herald dazzling performances.
• Roussel: Le Festin de l'Araignee (The Spider's
Banquet). Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Albert Roussel (1869-1937) was thought old-fashioned,
following in the path of Debussy and Ravel. This coupling
contains his most-performed work, a ballet pantomime of the
insect life of a garden: ants, butterflies, spiders, buzzing
mayflies, even dung beetles.
Also with two suites from his more serious opera-ballet
Padmavati, the CD confirms the composer as a great
impressionist of the French school, delicately weaving
melodies and harmony.
The orchestra under Stephane Deneve performs these stage
works in its Naxos series of Roussel discs. It charms with
the vibrancy of a light-hearted insect world and more exotic
sounds of the quasi-oriental opera inspired by the legendary
siege of the city of Chittor by the Mongols.
Highlights: flamboyant entomological cocktail, plus