Paquito D'Rivera - Triangulo

Craig Jolley BY

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Cal State Northridge University
February 23, 2001

Triangulo would probably be called a World Music supergroup by an up-and-coming publicist. The players have enjoyed distinguished, separate careers as composers, conductors, musicologists, and performers. After collaborating occasionally on various projects the ensemble was formed at Rutgers University and has toured internationally. Their repertoire comes from twentieth century Cuban, Argentine, and Brazilian composers, most of whom straddle the line between popular and "serious" music. The players take turns introducing their music which brings the audience in.
The trio opened with a brief "Suite de Danzas" by Cuban composer Ignacio Cervantes. Delicate and lightly syncopated, the "Danzas" share much in common with some of Scott Joplin's rags written a few years later. The late Argentine composer Angel Lasala was represented by the programmatic "Trio de la Serranias," a suite of three movements: a French impressionist feel; a dark minor key dirge over a slow tango; a Scottish jig evolved into a carnival spirit with Native American flute sounds. Four pieces by Pixiguinha featured counterpoint, clarinet-cello interplay, and Brazilian tango. Wagner Tiso, a currently active Brazilian composer/arranger/keyboardist, contributed a contemporary sounding "America" (not the Bernstein piece) with plenty of blue notes and a strong piano bass line. Tavares, given an inspired cello part, was up to the piece with a brilliant interpretation. Four pieces composed by D'Rivera and arranged by Tavares were highlighted by "Wapango" over Mexican rhythms with intricate melody lead passing—sometimes one note at a time. Four magnificent Astor Piazzolla tangos climaxed the program. Arranged for Triangulo by Zinger, Piazzolla's long-time associate, the cello parts were again notable both for writing and execution. D'Rivera and Tavares took turns with the Piazzolla bandoneon part. D'Rivera improvised over a vamp on his encore piece "Danzon," the most jazzical number of the concert. A wonderfully conceived and fully realized musical event.
Paquito D'Rivera - clarinet; Gustavo Tavares - cello; Pablo Zinger - piano.

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