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Gianni Iorio / Pasquale Stafano: Nocturno

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Gianni Iorio / Pasquale Stafano: Nocturno
(Iorio Facebook Page)
2016 Enja Records

Pasquale Stafano on Piano
Gianni Iorio on Bandoneón

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 21, 2016

This CD is a thrilling new combination of renowned tango tunes and original compositions, some performed by both Pasquale Stafano on piano and Gianni Iorio on bandoneón, and two performed as solos, one by each artist. As a former, avid tanguera, it was intoxicating for me to hear these mesmerizing arrangements of familiar tango pieces, like Osvaldo Pugliese’s “La Yumba” and Carlos Gardel’s “El día que me quieras”. Stafano and Iorio also include intense and rapturous performances of Astor Piazzolla’s “Verano Porteño”, Invierno Porteño”, and “Adios Nonino”, all riveting compositions by the late, master bandoneonist. Both Stafano and Iorio spotlight social dance rhythms of backward, forward dance-walking motifs, as well as show dance rhythms that could light a theater with stylistic electricity. Most spellbinding and serendipitous is the creative use of pauses and tempo shifts, such as in the Milonga (a swirling fast tango) noted below, with its fast-slow-fast arrangement. This is not a tango album recorded for dance, but several tracks would work for advanced tangueras and performers for leisure or stage productions. This music is stunning, first class throughout, and it begs the listener to play each tune again and again, to catch the exceptional nuances in tonal texture, timing, and temperament.

Notable tracks:

#2 –Invierno Porteño – Composed by Astor Piazzolla. This original interpretation of Piazzolla’s Winter segment of his four seasonal compositions is performed by Stafano and Iorio with emotionally wrenching intensity. This album is a new source of Argentine Tango interpretations for those both familiar and unfamiliar with the greatest music in the Tango genre. This track illustrates the impressive imagination of Iorio and Stafano, as it unfolds in dramatic imagery.

#5 –Milonga de mis amores - Composed by Pedro Laurenz. Gustavo Toker is noted as a collaborator in this arrangement, which expands the usual milonga dance motif (joyful, rapid, swirling) with the fast-slow-fast tempi, mentioned in the above introduction. The lead-in to the milonga by Laurenz is also deliberately tantalizing, with teasing phrases that naturally shift in momentum. A reflective interlude for piano and bandoneón evokes romantic yearning, infused with syncopated jazz, that leads to the returning theme of spinning musicality. This track transports the listener to the dance clubs of Buenos Aires.

#7 –Le lanterne di Phuket – Composed by Pasquale Stafano. This Stafano composition, with echoing piano phrases and a mournful, bandoneón theme, is melodic and gorgeous. This track is not quite a tango, but, for the listener, a soulful balm, like cognac and candles. As noted above, the track begs to be heard again.

#10 –Sagra d’estate – Composed by Gianni Iorio. This Iorio composition, with a staccato bandoneón introduction, beckons one to imagery of showcased, fiery tangos. The danceable, sensational rhythmic design is remarkable, particularly in this case of a recording from Italy that overflows with impassioned Argentine Tango. This is a must-own album for lovers of music, who seek profound listening experiences.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at