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Jorge Andrés BOSSO
Tangos at an Exhibition
Promenade I [3:56]
Autant en emporte le Tango [6:26]
Promenade II [5:50]
Alegoría de un Tango [4:27]
Promenade III (double quartet) [3:10]
Un Tango Onírico ‘5:07]
Promenade IV [3:40]
Getting’ through the Mood of Tango [6:14]
Antiguo Vals (double quintet) [7:18]
Milonga Transfigurata [4:51]
Oxímoron [5:44]
Promenade V [5:08]
Jorge Andrés Bosso (cello)
Bosso Concept
rec. 2016, Limen Music Studio, Umbria, Italy
LIMEN DVD096CD096 [CD & DVD: 62:53]

Even those of us whose regular musical diet consists of Wagner operas and Bruckner symphonies occasionally like to relax with something lighter, and dances can be the ideal contrast. Successive composers have made the minuet, the waltz, the polka, the mazurka and various other dances part of the classical repertoire, and one of the more recent candidates has been the tango. This hovered on the far side of respectability until Ástor Piazzolla rethought it, since when musicians of all kinds have flocked to play his tangos and others in the same spirit. Jorge A. Bosso is the latest of these. His own instrument is the cello, and he leads an ensemble, Bosso Concept, here consisting of a clarinet, bandoneón, double bass, vibraphone and a guest percussionist.

If you expect tangos to be characterised by snappy rhythms with an accent half way through the fourth beat of a four-beat bar, syncopations, pungent accents and a generally sexy atmosphere, you will be surprised by the pieces here. They are mostly slow and rhapsodic, making quite pretty but very similar noises, often featuring the clarinet or vibraphone as much as the cello. The bandoneón does not have a prominent part. Only one piece, ‘Getting’ through the Mood of Tango,’ is at all like what you might expect and then only for part of it. ‘Autant en emporte le Tango’ is actually a waltz, a tango vals. Otherwise, the others are too similar to differentiate. There is very little rhythmic drive or bite.

The ensemble is recorded rather too closely for my liking and I needed to tame the sound a bit. There are two booklets. One is a single sheet, with, inside, just the sentence “Art is nothing else than dipping into the past, for outlining a present, waiting for exciting horizons”. The main booklet is written by Bosso himself, in absolute gobbledygook. Here is an example: “Old is the tango, and it becomes modern when its light brushes an oval horizon”. There is also a bonus DVD, with the same pieces as on the CD and, I think, the same performances. The set is rather dark and the sound, as on the CD, rather too close. The pieces are slightly more engaging when you can see the players, but overall this remains a disappointment.

Stephen Barber

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