Album for Astor is a tribute to the Music of Astor Piazzolla. All of Piazzolla’s more than 750 works are inextricably bound to an essential and unmistakable Argentinian identity. In commemoration of 100th anniversary of the birth of the genius of Nuevo Tango, the young Danish master of the modern accordion, Bjarke Mogensen, is joined by the award-wining percussionist Johan Bridger and winner of the title “Chromatic Harmonica World Champion”, and ‘New Jazz Star of The Year’ Mathias Heise. Together with members of The Danish Chamber Players they bring Piazzolla’s vibrant and sensuous scores vividly to life!
Bjarke Mogensen says “All my life I have admired, studied and performed the music of the extraordinary Argentinian composer, Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992). It is a great pleasure to release a whole instrumental Piazzolla album for the centenary of his birth. I decided to base my tribute solely on Piazzolla titles but also dived headlong into designing a varied and comprehensive listening experience, an hour of interchanging accordion solos, instrumental duos, and pieces that I arranged for myself and a small group of mixed instruments. The music is all Astor but with a touch of Bjarke here and there and maybe everywhere, in fact. There are no singers involved, but Piazzolla’s music sings, and our instruments sing, and at every corner there is melancholy, tripping feet, fast figures, and an atmosphere of Buenos Aires.”
Bjarke Mogense – Accordion
Johan Bridger – Percussion
Mathias Heise – Harmonica
The Danish Chamber Players
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:05:29
|Original Recording Format
|July 28, 2023
Of the portrait albums dedicated to Astor Piazzolla, this one, Album for Astor, is among the most interesting and varied. Beyond the constant of Bjarke Mogensen’s accordion, it offers a timbrally diverse program of ensembles employing various colors and configurations that keep interest and emotions running high.
The album is programmed with a commencing and concluding solo, bookending duos and ensembles. Of particular interest is the fleet-footed Vibraphonissimo, originally composed for the wonderful jazz musician Gary Burton; an energetic concert performance was recorded by Burton and Piazzolla. Mogensen lays down his slightly more reflective but equally engaging version in the company of Johan Bridger, his vibes playing more than up to the task of filling some impressive shoes.
Classical Modern Music
Like Villa-Lobos did for the Brazilian Choros only even more so, Argentinian Astor Piazzolla has taken the local Tango form and made from it his own kind of expression. That is all quite clear if you listen to Accordionist Bjarke Mogensen as he joins with the Danish Chamber Players and soloists Johan Bridger on vibraphone and Mathias Heise on harmonica for the freewheeling, well conceived and enthusiastic homage to the composer on the recent Album for Astor.
Select Piazzolla gems sparkle one after the other on this album. Solo accordion, accordion with vibraphone or harmonica and, for more than half, accordion with chamber group keeps the pacing and momentum going for a nicely considered program. Mogensen and company turn in a meticulously considered and broadly appealing set of performances here. It is as infectious as it is intrinsic.
I am glad to have this one and recommend it without hesitation. Viva Piazzolla!
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