Classical Music Single Play: Mi Buenos Aires Querido Mederos, Console, Barenboim (Teldec / Warner Classics)

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The Independent Culture
The tango is terribly chic these days. Everyone's doing it: Clive James sneaks into a Brixton tango club for the occasional lap; even Daniel Barenboim, who spent the first nine years of his life in Buenos Aires and apparently revered Carlos Gardel, the sophisticated little tyke. Two years ago, Barenboim surprised a Buenos Aires concert audience by playing three tangos as encores after a Schoenberg recital. Shortly afterwards, he recorded this collection of classics, with the bandoneonist Rodolfo Mederos and the bassist Hector Console.

The 14-song tour de chanson starts in the mid-Thirties with great tango anthems by Gardel himself. The ensuing 52 minutes include further renderings of classics from the old orquestras tipicas, with a seven-number selection of Astor Piazzolla's, including a bass solo and the beautiful "Adios Nonino", a mini-requiem for the composer's father.

The trio have nothing to prove and play simply and exquisitely. A la parrilla, the sleeve notes call the style, meaning grilled as in a barbecue, a tango expression for free. This is no crude sizzling chunk of beef, not even an entrecote alla piazzolla, but a tournedos rossini of a dish.