Saturday, October 7, 2017


Astor Piazzolla Anniversary 1992-2017 Tango
Marcela Fiorillo, piano
Wesley Music Centre, Forrest, 30 September

Reviewed by Len Power

Celebrating the life and music of Argentinian composer, Astor Piazzolla on the 25th anniversary of his death, Marcela Fiorillo gave the audience a thrilling piano recital of his work at the Wesley Music Centre.

Piazzolla was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger.  His work revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music.  A virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles.  He was 71 when he died in 1992.

Marcela Fiorillo graduated from the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She performs internationally and is currently a performing Teaching Fellow at the ANU School of Music.

Each item of the concert was introduced by the pianist who created an immediate rapport with the audience with her relaxed and friendly manner.

The concert commenced with two works from Piazzolla’s Angel series followed by two from The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.  Fiorillo’s playing brought out all of the colour and emotion in these dramatic and haunting works.

The first half of the recital finished with ‘Adios Nonino’, a hymn that Piazzolla composed in memory of his father, who had died unexpectedly in 1959.  The sense of the pain of loss is very strong in this piece and it was played with great sensitivity.
‘Oblivion’ was written for a 1982 Italian movie, ‘Enrico IV’.  This beautiful, reflective work was followed with the lyrical and charming ‘Romanza del duende poeta y Curda’ from the score of Piazzolla’s 1968 opera, ‘Maria de Buenos Aires’.

The recital concluded with ‘Tangata’, dramatic, emotional and a great finale to an evening of memorable playing by Marcela Fiorillo.

This review was first published in the Canberra City News digital edition of 1 October 2017.

Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7’s new ‘On Stage’ program on Mondays from 3.30pm and on ‘Artcetera’ from 9.00am on Saturdays.