February 18, 2023
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CD Review | Suite Tango

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Zenith Wolfe, La Scena Musicale

Suite Tango keeps listeners on their toes with a series of six dynamic tango suites.

The first suite, Argentina, establishes a casual, intimate tone after one of the musicians whistles along to the melody of the second movement, Silbando. The occasional clacking of shoes and the rustling of clothing in the background allow the listener to picture someone dancing along to the works, which persists into the second suite, Bach to Tango, carrying with it the feeling of familiarity. Each instrument briefly performs solo before reuniting in a competition for the lead position, as though preparing for a show. The clacking is re-emphasized at the start of the fourth movement, and the instruments begin co-operating for a resonant dance number.

There is no telling where a composition will go once it starts, which is the album’s most engaging quality. The virtuosic talent of Plante and Tétreault allows them to maintain thematic cohesion while jumping between the unpredictable rhythms of Noche de tango and Les flores (suites 3 and 4), the slow and tense Mística (suite 5), and the upbeat but reserved Buenos Aires (suite 6). Every idea is given enough space to breathe, but not so much that any overstay their welcome. The background dancer—intermittently present throughout these suites—comes back in full force by the final work, Tango antiguo, giving the musicians a chance to go all-out for a strong, satisfying conclusion.

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