BACALOV:  Misa Tango.  PIAZZOLLA:  Adiós Nonino. Libertango.
Ana Maria Martinez, mezzo-soprano; Plácido Domingo, tenor; HÈctor Ulises Passarella, bandoneón; Luis Bacalov, pianist/Coro e Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Myung-Whun Chung, cond.

DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 463 471 (F) (DDD)  TT:  53:49

To today's current tango craze, add the 1997 mass (yes, mass) by Luis Bacalov to the list of sure-fire hits. The reason—Plácido Domingo. The distinguished tenorissimo, opera companies (2) director, and conductor joins mezzo-soprano Ana Maria Martinez and the Coro e Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia conducted by Myung-Whun Chung for a vibrant premiere CD performance. This mass, comprising the 5 traditional sections (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei), uses a more contemporary, understandable language (Spanish) instead of Latin. Melodies, which are short, accessible and folk-like, are moved loosely along over gentle tango rhythms played by the orchestra featuring solo bandoneón (an Argentine version of the accordion). While pretty tunes and the tango beat prevail, the music contains some fun dialogs, simple harmonies plus a plethora of dreamy triads. And both Domingo and Martinez capture the appropriate style and sentiment to vitalize the work. Pure delight.

 Composer Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992), known for his fusion of tango, jazz and popular songs from the Rio de la Plata, is represented by his "Adios Nonino" (Tango Rapsodia) featuring Domingo and Martinez, and "Libertango" showcasing pianist Bacalov and bandoneónist Hector Ulises Passarella.

K.S. (Nov. 2000)