Who is María? Horacio Ferrer, lyricist of this unconventional ‘operita’, said that she was a representation of Buenos Aires, embodying the spirit of tango itself. María de Buenos Aires lies outside any known genre. If it has antecedents, they are Weill/Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera and Bernstein/Sondheim’s West Side Story.
According to Ferrer, its highly poetic libretto was written ‘not to be understood, but to create emotion and atmosphere’. Piazzolla’s music, too, offers a charged mix of classical forms and Argentinian traditions – milonga, tango and the sparring spoken word of the traditional payada.
In this, the first major recording since the 1980s, Delphian stalwarts Mr McFall’s Chamber are joined by their long-term collaborators Valentina Montoya Martínez and Nicholas Mulroy, narrator Juanjo Lopez Vidal, and internationally acclaimed tango musicians Victor Villena and Cyril Garac.
Presto Editor's Choice
"Rhythms are crisp and precise throughout, and the pristine sound brings out plenty of sharply focused instrumental detail. Montoya Martinez, her voice earthy and lived-in, captures the defiance and vitality that drive Marìa on…Best of all, perhaps, is Nicholas Mulroy…singing milongas like one born to it. Exhilaratingly done, and a fine achievement"
"Valentina Montoya Martinez gives the central character a full-flavoured vocal embodiment, intelligently supported by Juanjo Lopez Vidal as the narrator figure…Additional authenticity is supplied by bandoneon player and music director Victor Villena."