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.