Harry Skoler: Piazzolla
Harry Skoler (clarinet)
Two Ones (Soliloquy)
Composed by Ed Saindon.
Recorded: North Andover, MA, 2008
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Part of a sensitive, often poignant collection of ensemble and duo work featuring the all-too-often-ignored clarinet, this number could be the soundtrack for broken dreams. Without resorting to athletic displays of musical calisthenics, Harry Skoler uses his rich timbre to great effect, summoning bittersweet memories of intimate encounters from long ago. “Piazzolla” is more about the veneration than the virtuosity, as the individuals lose themselves in an evocative group improvisation.
Following Ed Saindon’s somber piano intro, the ensemble falls into a dusky tango with an intense broodiness suggesting the suppressed passion of tangoists in a clandestine embrace. Frequently the soloists seem to be carrying on a dialogue, but they never trip over each other’s phrasing, demonstrating a disciplined freedom and mutual respect.
Both the composition and the polished musicianship on this piece do sufficient justice to the legacy of Astor Piazzolla, Argentine’s innovative bandoneon player and composer. Hold your partner close for this dance.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes