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CD Review: Lacides Romero:Accordion/Arnaldo Garcia:Piano

Lacides Romero:Piano Accordion/Arnaldo Garcia:Piano


Mensaje:Cervantes (Cuba)
Encatandora:Cervantes (Cuba)
Los tres golpes:Cervantes (Cuba)
San Juan Guaricongo y El Pajaro Guarandol:Haas (Venezuela)
Maricela:Pena (Venezuela)
S'il vous plait:Piazzolla (Argentina)
Lo que vendra: Piazzolla (Argentina)
Contrastes: Piazzolla (Argentina)
Contrabajeando:Piazzolla (Argentina)
Cascades:Joplin (USA)
Escorregando:Nazareth (Brazil)
Apanhei-te, Cavaquinho:Nazareth (Brazil)
Brasileira de la Suite Scaramouche:Milhaud (Brazil)
Que nadie sepa mi sufrir:Cabral (Peru)
Adriana:Romero (Colombia)
Catalina:Romero (Colombia)
Marcela:Romero (Colombia)
Navidad negra:Barros (Colombia)

total time: 49 min. and 35 sec.
released: unknown
review date: December, 2000

Order from: The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. Online Gift Store

Review by Robert Karl Berta :

Lacides Romero is a self taught accordionist from Colombia. Arnaldo Garcia, pianist, hails from Venezuela and the pair have created a collection of piano/accordion duets. After hearing Lacides Romero's other recording Acordion En Concierto (also reviewed on The Classical Free-Reed, Inc. web site) it was most interesting to hear this recording and to note the title...CONTRASTES. This recording is certainly a GREAT collection of the various Latin rhythms played with real fire by both Lacides on piano accordion and Arnaldo on piano. While you might think that the Contrast title is appropriate for the different music showcased here but I also think it is a great contrast to Lacides' solo album of all non-Latin classic music. While I enjoyed that classic album...I feel that this album is by far my favorite. I have always enjoyed the various Latin music types and here you hear the music that will get your blood really pumping!

The recording takes you on a musical tour of Latin America (and one detour to the USA) first starting in Cuba. Of all the various Latin forms of music, the music of Cuba is perhaps the most thrilling and here you can see why! Continuing the tour we visit Venezuela and get a chance to hear a neat composition by Gerty Haas. Gerty was a Czech pianist who lived in Venezuela and initiated a great piano and music movement there. Next we stop off in Argentina to pay homage to arguably the greatest composer for the accordion (Bandoneon) who ever lived...Astor Piazzolla. Aster studied music in France under Nadia Boulanger but used skills learned there when he returned to Argentina to completely change the tradition of the Tango. He blended contemporary styles of music into the Tango and moved it beyond the dance halls to the concert hall.

I was a little surprised by the appearance of one selection from the USA by Scott Joplin. While I am a huge fan of Joplin, I felt it out of place in this otherwise great collection of Latin music. But it was well played.

Music of Brazil follows with some great selections including one composed by another non-Latin composer, Darius Milhaud, a Frenchman. This collection of tunes shows how the music of many countries is not a product of its own but is often a mix of styles "stolen" from other cultures and countries. The resulting product is often an exciting new invention that offers listeners new delights.

I was happy to hear one of my favorite tunes by A. Cabral which I learned is evidently a product of Peru. I first heard this selection played on the Gypsy Strings CD (also reviewed here). That performance of the tune remains as one of my top "10" accordion selections of all times.

The tour of Latin America and Cuba ends with a homecoming to Colombia. Here Lacides performs a few of his own compositions...very nice. Overall this recording is satisfactory and I recommend it. It has nice recording quality, fine performances and a GREAT selection of tunes.

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