Piazzolla: Ángeles y Diablos Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble

Album info



Label: Challenge Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Artist: Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble

Composer: Astor Piazzolla (1921–1992)

Album including Album cover


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  • Astor Piazzolla (1921 - 1992):
  • 1Allegro tangabile03:03
  • 2La Camorra I09:10
  • 3Romance del diablo05:58
  • 4Vayamos al diablo02:52
  • 5Tango del diablo04:15
  • 6Poema valseado03:18
  • 7Fuga y misterio04:49
  • 8Introducción al ángel04:42
  • 9Milonga del ángel06:11
  • 10Muerte del ángel02:57
  • 11Resurrección del ángel06:50
  • Total Runtime54:05

Info for Piazzolla: Ángeles y Diablos

The angel as a symbol of the tango-dance, death and resurrection.

Without losing the romance, the violence, eroticism and devotion of the traditional tango that he saw as empty and hollowed out, Piazzolla renewed and modified it with elements of European art music, Argentine folklore and jazz, and thus tango took on a new meaning and shape.

The writer Alberto Rodriguez Muñoz approached Piazzolla in 1961 with a request to write music for his play Tango del ángel, which is about an angel appearing in an apartment block in Buenos Aires to cleanse the souls of its inhabitants. The titles Introducción al ángel, Milonga del ángel, and Muerte del ángel were created. The latter, a four-part fugue with hard, uncompromising harmonies and rhythms, impressively shows how far Piazzolla pushed the boundaries of traditional tango.

When the play was performed in 1962, even the previously hostile parts of the musical public in Argentina had to admit how fitting and successful this music was and the titles, especially Milonga del ángel, gained extraordinary popularity.

The motives of angel, Ángel, and devil, Diablo, appear in many of the tangos composed by Astor Piazzolla: "In my story, angels and devils mix - you have to have something in everything."

For a concert with his quintet at the Philharmonic Hall in New York in 1965, he wrote the series of Diablo titles: the spooky Tango del diablo, the intimate Romance del diablo and the wild, lashing Vayamos al diablo.

Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble

Isabelle van Keulen
”Her taut musical intelligence and vivid sound combined with a fine instinct for the tender, searching quality of this music … absolutely magical.” The Guardian

Since her breakthrough in 1984 winning the Eurovision Young Musician of the Year, a competition that was broadcast all over Europe and watched live on television by millions, Isabelle van Keulen can now look back on many years of musical diversity. Not only is it always vital for her to approach the musical score with honesty and with an extremely consious approach to interpretation, she also strives to communicate with her audiences and musical partners, allowing her to perform in an inspirational, lively and enthusiastic manner.

Her versatility lies in the fact that she not only plays the violin, but as well viola with the same energy, performing chamber music in any thinkable combination and directing chamber orchestra performances. Whether in the over 20 year intense collaboration with the Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam, concerts with mezzo Christianne Stotijn, performing/directing the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, combining violin and viola in one appearance, founding a chamber music festival – from 1997 until 2006 Isabelle van Keulen was Artistic Director of the Delft Chamber Music Festival – giving masterclasses or being a soloist with orchestras such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic or NHK Tokyo. Above all, being faithful to the music is her highest priority.

She has over the course of her career engaged works written by contemporary composers. She had many concertos written especially for her (Theo Loevendie, Erkki-Sven Tüür) and has many other 20th and 21st century works in her repertoire: Concertos by Henri Dutilleux, John Adams, Lera Auerbach, Oliver Knussen and Brett Dean. She also likes to perform less known works by Colin Matthews and Concertos by Krenek, Pettersson and Busoni.

Isabelle van Keulen has made many recordings in the past decades, the most recent ones are Berg Violin Concerto (Chandos), a CD of violin-piano sonatas by Strauss, Nino Rota and Respighi (Channel Classics), Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet with Sharon Kam (Berlin Classics) , Bach’s Goldberg Variations with the Leopold String Trio (Hyperion) and Prokofiev Complete Works for violin and piano with Ronald Brautigam (Challenge, December 2012). In May 2013 a high profile CD with music by Astor Piazzolla was released on Challenge Records, Tango!, combined with DVD/Bluray and documentary, with the Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble.

Since autumn 2012 she is professor for violin, viola and chamber music at the Luzern University of Arts.

Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble
Since her earliest youth, Isabelle van Keulen has committed herself to chamber music, in all combinations and with all repertoire. As a child and young student she visited several chamber music courses and festivals, resulting in her early twenties to continuous invitations from Festivals like Lockenhaus Festival, Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, Verbier Festival, Edindurgh Festival and many others.

She also founded her own festival, Delft Chamber Music Festival, in 1997, which she led till 2006.

With the Isos Quartet she made a recording of the Bruch string quartets, in 1997.

In 1990 she started a long musical relationship with Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam, in the 23 years they have collaborated so far they made 10 recordings.

From 2006 till 2012 she was member of the Leopold String Trio; the most recent recordings were with Tanejev Trio's and Bach’s Goldberg Variations for the label Hyperion.

Since 2011 she has her own Tango Nuevo quartet, the Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble, with Christian Gerber, bandoneon, Ulrike Payer, piano and Rüdiger Ludwig, double bass. Apart from numerous appearances to come in summer 2013 at festivals like Schleswig Holstein, Rheingau, and concerts in Delft, Amsterdam, Den Haag, Haarlem they have just finished recording their first CD- and DVD-production for Challenge Classics, with several of Piazzolla’s master pieces.

This album contains no booklet.

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