About this Recording
9.70240 - CARDELÚS, A.: Con Aire de Tango (Cardelús, Dinca, Berlin Philharmonic String Soloists)

Arturo Cardelús (b. 1981)
100 Miles Suite • Two pieces for piano trio • Con Aire de Tango (for solo violin and string quintet) • Two pieces for violin and piano • Two piano pieces


100 Miles Suite

The film 100 Miles, directed by Tamás Tatai, tells the story of a boy, his grandfather, and their shared passion for trains. The 100 Miles Suite is adapted from the film’s soundtrack. The piano ostinato embodies the locomotion of the train, and the foreground melodies represent the stories of the people travelling on the train. Though the tempo and energy change throughout the suite, its melancholic yet optimistic mood remains constant.

Two pieces for piano trio

Tío Luis

Tío Luis is dedicated to Cardelús’s uncle, Luis Silva González, who passed away suddenly in July 2014. Cardelús initially intended to write the piece alla funebre, but experienced writer’s block for weeks and was unable to connect with the score. When Cardelús tried instead to write in a major key, he was able to compose a draft in a matter of hours. Cardelús realised that his uncle represented optimism and happiness despite his tragic death. He connected with the love and hopefulness that his uncle had embodied during life and brought these sentiments to the piece.


As a child, Cardelús had chronic insomnia. At night, his imagination ran wild and his head filled with monsters lurking in every corner, magical creatures hiding in closets, and even thieves breaking into his family home in Madrid. A response to these nightmarish fantasies, Lullaby takes the listener to a timeless dreamland where magic stands guard against the forces of evil. The violin and cello soar over a piano ostinato, which represents the motion of a rocking crib.

Con Aire de Tango

Con Aire de Tango was written for violinist Laurentius Dinca from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, who commissioned the work after listening to a tango written by Cardelús. The first movement of the piece is an arrangement of the original tango, and the following three movements grow organically from the first.

The closest English translation of Con Aire de Tango would be A Hint of Tango. Cardelús does not consider himself a tango expert, but instead wanted to compose a classical piece inspired by the tango greats. His main influences for the piece were Piazzolla, Vivaldi, and Carlos Gardel.

The movements are named after cities that have been important in Cardelús’s life. The work starts with Madrid, Cardelús’s hometown. The second movement is entitled Boston, the city in which he studied and met his wife. Anchorage is the hometown of his wife and the city where they married. Finally, Los Angeles is Cardelús’s current city of residence.

Two pieces for violin and piano

Both of these pieces are in E minor, a key that Cardelús associates with loss.

In Memoriam is based on Cardelús’s score for the film Sol, which tells the story of a mother and daughter struggling to stay together despite their poverty. Cardelús was influenced by the texture of Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, in which a simple melody flies over the piano accompaniment. In Memoriam is dedicated to his grandmother, Mercedes Muñoz Seca.

Tacones Lejanos might best be translated as High Heels at a Distance. Cardelús channelled his heartbreak while writing the piece to help find relief from a painful end to a relationship. Melancholic and tender, Tacones Lejanos serves both as a reminder of the past and as a push towards the present.

Two piano pieces

These opposing pieces share the tonal centre of F. The first looks back, whilst the second looks to the future.

Regrets is a wistful look at a lost past, in which the still opening gives way to a more active middle section. The final section revisits the initial melody, but with a restrained accompaniment that reflects acceptance of the passage of time.

Prayer reflects the rhythm and repetition of the rosary, a fixture in Cardelús’s Catholic upbringing. The transcendent dialogue between the chordal texture of the left hand and the sixteenth notes of the right hand creates an atmosphere of reverence and peace. Cardelús composed the piece for pianist Tanya Gabrielian.

Tanya Gabrielian

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