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Reviews: Tango-Orkesteri Unto, Kylmä Rakkaus [Cold Love]: Finnish Tango Vol. 2 and Raynald Buraglio, Complicidad

Finnish group Tango-Orkesteri Unto. (Photo from the band's web site.)

Tango-Orkesteri Unto
Kylmä Rakkaus [Cold Love]: Finnish Tango Vol. 2
[Arc Music (2011)]

Raynald Buraglio
Complicidad
[Frémeaux & Associés (2011)]

The tango has had a long history in Finland, dating back to the World War I era, although the Finns took the genre in directions that were quite foreign to the Argentinian and Uruguayan traditions. For example, the Finnish tangos are mostly performed in minor keys, and the main instrument is usually the accordion rather than the bandoneon. Anyone seeking to find out more about the history of Finnischer Tango should seek out two superb (albeit hard-to-find) compilations bearing that name on the German Trikont label. Another option is to seek out an excellent recent example of the genre: The sextet known as Tango-Orkestri Unto, named after Finnish tango composer Unto Mononen, is led by pianist-arranger Timo Alakotila (a founding member of JPP) and includes singer Pirjo Aittomäki, well-known Finnish accordionist Johanna Juhola, violinist Mauno Järvela (also of JPP), and the bassist from Värttinä. Besides compositions by members of the group as well as by Mononen, the album (the group’s second) also features recent poems set to nuanced music of longing and passion.

French musician and composer Raynald Buraglio, who moved to New Caledonia in 1970, has now come up with a follow-up to L’Ami Tango, which came out in 2003. Eleven musicians, the most notable of which are Junajo Mosalini (bandoneon), Raphaël Sanchez (conductor, arranger, musical director), and Eric Chalan (contrabass) recorded this session live in the capital city of Nouméa in late 2007. The result is nothing short of exquisite. Because of the cross-pollination that has taken place within the world of tango, the music on Complicidad, with the bandoneon at the forefront, encompasses European waltzes, ballads, and even sambas and bossa novas. The musicians manage to deliver extremely sophisticated music without sacrificing the grand passion for which the genre is known.

—Paul-Emile Comeau (Comeauville, NS, Canada)

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One comment on “Reviews: Tango-Orkesteri Unto, Kylmä Rakkaus [Cold Love]: Finnish Tango Vol. 2 and Raynald Buraglio, Complicidad

  1. Tango in Finland?
    Who knew? U must b joking!
    Unto Varttina…

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