The Free-Reed Review
Critiques of Compact Discs, Books and Music Scores

Music Score Review: Astor Piazzolla, composer
20 de ses Plus Grands Tangos
20 Tangos CD Cover

released: 1997

Publisher: Editions Universelles
52, rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin
75010 Paris

telephone: 33 1 42 02 21 15
fax: 33 1 42 06 83 01

Music Score and Parts arranged for piano (conductor), two violins, two bandoneons and electric bass (contrabasse)


  1. Adios Nonino
  2. Bando
  3. Imperial
  4. Pigmalion
  5. S.V.P.
  6. Chau Paris
  7. Rio sena
  8. Tzigane Tango
  9. Contrastes
  10. Preparense
  11. Contrabajeando
  12. Plus Ultra
  13. La Misma Pena
  14. Fievre (Fiebre de Tango)
  15. La Calle 92
  16. Tanguango
  17. Luz y Sombra
  18. Nonino
  19. Guardia Nueva
  20. Marron y Azul
Review by Henry Doktorski:

It was truly a pleasure to read through 20 de ses Plus Grands Tangos: beautifully engraved music of twenty of Astor Piazzolla's best loved pieces arranged for tango sextet. I had been waiting some time for a publisher to produce an anthology of Piazzolla pieces for ensemble, as I have several symphony violinist friends who want to play the tango, yet, due to their training (or perhaps lack of it!) cannot improvise from lead sheets. Editions Universelles has filled a gap by publishing this important volume, which I hope will be only the first of many more!

Although there is no full score, per se, the piano part does have sufficient cues to lead the ensemble. The piano/conductor score is bound in book format while the other instruments read from sheet music. The parts are easy to read, they contain cues of other instruments and clear rehearsal numbers. Some of the electric bass (but not contrabasse) parts have chord symbols written in for those who like to improvise. The bandoneon parts (which can also be played on accordion) are written with two staves: treble and bass. A few pieces have French lyrics written in the piano part: Fievre, Preparense and Pigmalion.

This anthology is a welcome addition to the repertoire of sophisticated tango literature: the arrangements are exciting as well as interesting and I recommend 20 de ses Plus Grands Tangos for tango lovers everywhere.

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