Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

 
Keyword Search
 
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews



 
See latest reviews of other albums...

Maria Nockin
Fanfare, July 2018

Fracanapa, the name of a masked character in traditional Italian theater, is also the name of a happy 1963 work by Piazzolla that leaves the listener smiling and perhaps tapping out its catchy rhythm. Not only is Legacy a fine tribute to composer Astor Piazzolla, it serves to show the virtuosity and sensitive playing of all involved: violinist Tomás Cotik, pianist Tao Lin, double bassist Jeffrey Kipperman, percussionists Alex Wadner and Bradley Loudis, and voice-over artist Alfredo Lerida. The sound is clear and it gives the listener the feeling of being in a small hall with excellent acoustics. I found this recording extremely interesting and think readers will want to own it. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review



Tom Moore
American Record Guide, March 2018

Cotik is a fine violinist and musician, and his career track is rather different from the usual for the USA, with a bachelor’s and masters from Freiburg University in Germany and the DMA from University of Miami. Since Piazzolla did not write specifically for solo violin, all the compositions here are arrangements, mainly by Cotik, either for violin with piano or joined by bass and percussion as well. I can’t claim to be porteño, but the interpretations of this beautiful music sound echt to me. Most welcome. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, February 2018

The stunning arrangements are mostly by Cotik himself, with the further assistance of Osvaldo Calo. They are basically arranged for violin and piano, with the presence of a double bass and a pair of percussionists as occasionally required to enhance a particular piece. …One of the finest pieces in this program is Adios Nonino, which Piazzolla wrote in memory of his father, in which the mood of dignified sorrow is succeeded at the end by an outburst of joy as if to celebrate a life that is being remembered.

Tomás Cotik and Tao Lin masterfully convey the range of moods in music that can be impudent, melancholy, and so flavorfully dissonant one can taste its sadness, changing without a moment’s notice, as is its prerogative. © 2018 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, January 2018

Cotik has a beautiful clarity and depth to his playing; Lin draws a simply gorgeous tone from the piano, and the bass and percussion contributions are used to great effect. Listening to Cotik brings to mind the saying about blues music: that you don’t play the blues, you live them. Cotik doesn’t just play tango music—he lives it. It’s absolutely captivating and intoxicating stuff. © 2018 The WholeNote Read complete review



Bruce McCollum
MusicWeb International, January 2018

Escualo, or “shark”, composed in 1979, is a driving piece marked by suspense, dynamic rhythms and jagged syncopation. …Tomás and Tao are joined by double bassist Jeffrey Kipperman and percussionists Alex Wadner and Bradley Loudis, the group alternating slow and dreamy duets with rattling up-tempo ensemble verses.

Las cuatro estaciones portenas (The Four Season of Buenos Aires) was written between 1960 and 1970. The collection was inspired by Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”, and the four movements can be performed separately or as a set, in any order, as by each contrasting they complement the whole. Revirado, composed in 1963, alternates a light-hearted piano dance accompanied by raspy percussion, with a slower, elegant violin segment for a fine overall effect.

Piazzolla’s most famous tango, Adios Nonino, was written in 1959 after his father died. It is a dynamic, melancholy classic that alternates tense, anxious passages with slower, grieving segments that, together, mirror the phases of saying a final good-by. Tomás and Tao capture the essence of the piece with beautiful phasing and sensitivity. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Infodad.com, January 2018

Cotik and Lin work well and enthusiastically with Jeffrey Kipperman (double bass), Alex Wadner and Bradley Loudis (percussion), and Alfredo Lerida (voice), and the CD as a whole gives the impression of an extended and very enthusiastic “jam session” in which, however, the music and its effects are through-composed and more carefully arranged for effect than they would usually be in jazz. The disc is both fun to hear and insightful into Piazzolla’s sound world—a very successful combination indeed. © 2018 Infodad.com Read complete review



Bobby Reed
DownBeat Magazine, January 2018

A successful tribute album accomplishes four goals: It serves as a gateway to the honoree’s original recordings; it stands alone as great art, regardless of the listener’s level of familiarity with the source material; it interprets the tunes in a fresh way; and it showcases the artistic strengths of the recording artists. …Among the songs that these musicians infuse with exciting drama are “Milonga Del Ángel,” which Piazzolla included on his classic 1986 album, Tango: Zero Hour. …Cotik and Lin are to be applauded for demonstrating ways in which Piazzolla’s music can, in the right hands, retain its core genius in a variety of instrumental settings. © 2018 DownBeat Magazine Read complete review



Laurie Niles
Violinist.com, December 2017

The 2017 Violinist.com Holiday Gift Guide

This album is a celebration of the music of Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. …The album commemorates the 25th anniversary of Astor Piazzolla’s death with some of the composer’s most memorable works, such as “Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas,” “Milonga del ángel,” “Adiós nonino,” and “Balada para un loco.” Cotik and Lin previously collaborated on the Piazzolla album Tango Nuevo. © 2017 Violinist.com




Steven A. Kennedy
Cinemusical, November 2017

Both Cotik and Lin obviously have chosen this program out of their personal love of these pieces and this shines forth in this release very well. The musical program as a whole works quite well with its stylistic set up prior to the Estaciones Porteñas music which is then followed by some of the works used in film and even a song (“Balada para un loco”). The release is certainly a nice addition to the Piazzolla discography of which there is certainly plenty, but this makes for an excellent hour of engaging and excellent energetic performances. © 2017 Cinemusical Read complete review



Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, November 2017

Perhaps one reason I liked these performances so much was that Cotik and Osvaldo Calo arranged these pieces for violin, bass and piano, but surely the main reason is that Cotik is a hell of a violinist who plays with tremendous vitality and rhythmic acuity. In his very able hands, the music practically jumps off his bowstrings, and in the process, both he and pianist Tao Lin sound as if they’re practically dancing as they play. …Cotik, Lin, and bassist Jeffrey Kipperman make of this material a tango festival that sounds much closer to the folk or pop version of the music than usual, and in so doing lift Piazzolla’s pieces out of their usually stodgy atmosphere and place them in the realm of crossover material that works. © 2017 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review



Textura, November 2017

Among the standouts is the beautiful “Milonga del ángel,” surely one of Piazzolla’s most adored compositions. Lin’s value is perhaps most apparent here, specifically in the way he replicates the original arrangement’s bandoneon part while Cotik delivers the lyrical lead with heartfelt conviction; lovely too is “Introducción al ángel,” which the duo and Kipperman render in stately manner. One imagines the Nuevo tango master would be as captivated as any listener by such exquisite performances. © 2017 Textura Read complete review



Textura, November 2017

It says much about Tomás Cotik’s playing on this Piazzolla homage that it pretty much matches the phenomenal playing of Fernando Suárez Paz, the Nuevo tango master’s last violinist—no small accomplishment. But if anyone is capable of doing so, it’s the Argentinean-born Cotik, who’s lived and breathed Piazzolla’s music for the better part of his life.

There’s no question Cotik possesses the technical facility to play these pieces, but to do justice to Piazzolla more must be done than simply play the notes on the page; what’s critical is to capture the feeling of his music, and on that count Cotik excels. The expansive emotional terrain embodied by Piazzolla’s compositions, from romantic tenderness and longing to violent passion, are rendered rapturously by Cotik, and it’s this that argues most vehemently on behalf of Legacy. His virtuosity and singing tone are displayed to glorious effect throughout the hour-long recording, whether it be the high-energy syncopations of “Escualo” (Shark) or the romantic languor of “Vardarito”… © 2017 Textura Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, October 2017

Tomas Cotik’s Piazzolla is carnal, passionate and nowhere easy-going. Together with his group he has produced a riveting CD. © 2017 Pizzicato



David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2017

Turn the clock back fifty years and I attended a concert of music by the Argentinian composer, Astor Piazzolla, played by a traditional South American touring group. It wedded me to the composer, but sadly I have seldom heard that evening recreated, his music having been arranged, rearranged and generally mauled by those wanting to use it for their own commercial purposes. Here we have it serving to display the quite remarkable virtuosity of the Argentinian violinist, Tomas Cotik, who ideally creates the steamy atmosphere of some sleazy South American dance hall, as you look through the cigarette smoke filled vista, his small group seemingly fashioning the music as the mood takes them. Notes are bent as the dancers go through the erotic actions of the tango that is the basis of all Piazzolla’s music. In a previous review of Cotik playing Piazzolla, I begged the question, was Piazzolla composing ‘Classical’ music? That was his oft stated intent, but here we have ‘Classical’ musicians sending it in reverse, with jazz the dominating factor. There is the well-known Milonga del angel; the highly emotional, Balada para un loco; seductive Jeanne y Paul from the film, Last Tango in Paris, and my particular favourite, Las cuatro estaciones portenas. They are all quite superb, and if you want Piazzolla played by a violin, piano, double bass, and percussion, this has to be one disc you cannot afford to miss. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group