Tango: Zero Hour/Nuevo Tango: Hora Zero – Astor Piazzolla and The New Tango Quintet (1986)

Tango: Zero Hour/Nuevo Tango: Hora Zero - Astor Piazzolla and The New Tango Quintet (1986)

This is pretty much the essence of cool. Mysterious and suggestive. These songs incorporate classical, jazz, and tango elements to create something truly unique. The arrangements are superb, where Piazzolla orchestrates violins, accordion, piano and other instruments to blend into a sparse and noirish atmosphere. The instruments sound well separated, with each voice stealing their moments of virtuosity and unbounded emotion from the whole. It’s smooth, fluid, and occasionally very pretty, particularly in the case of the closer Mumuki.

Choice Cut: Tanguedia III

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Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 – London Sinfonietta/Dawn Upshaw/David Zinman (1992)

Henryk Górecki: Symphony No. 3 - London Sinfonietta/Dawn Upshaw/David Zinman (1992)

An incredible emotional experience and a great way to bridge the gap between Romanticism and the modern era. It embodies the best of both: the fascinating musical development of minimalism and the Romantic ideals of packing your music with as much emotion as humanly possible. The soprano solo in the slowly building, utterly sublime first movement is just the sound of sorrow pouring out at levels previously unknown to mankind. Sometimes words fail you, and that’s where Dawn Upshaw’s vocal solo takes over.

Choice Cut: The whole album

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