Ramiro Gallo quintet

Modelled on the Astor Piazzolla quintet (bandoneón, piano, violin, double bass, guitar) the Ramiro Gallo Quinteto plays only their own compositions: tangos with elements of chamber music and jazz.

Short fragments in mp3:
A los holgazanes,
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Delicate violence and violent delicacies

Review of the concert in Amsterdam, February 15, 2008 Tropentheater, theatre of the Tropical institute.

Ramiro Gallo has a rich variety of techniques that enables him to enjoy playing the violin to the fullest, and the audience with him. The quinteto, composed by all very skilled musicians, indeed lives up to its promise: partly violent modern tangos, where the instruments like double base and violin are beaten or scratched, the piano keys pounded, larded with pieces as delicate as classical chamber music. Very Piazzolla inspired, but also very 'Ramiro Gallo'.
Although tributes to the older maestros were composed and played rather skillfully, I found the new music of Gallo more interesting and pleasing.
Something new for me, were the 'Nueve miniaturas', 9 theme's of about a minute, all very different, but played one after the other, as one piece. I wonder when they'll be arranged into longer pieces of about at least 3 minutes, and by whom, because after every 'miniature' I wanted to know how it would continue...
Some pieces are very danceable. During their 'Tom & Jerry' (the second piece they played in Amsterdam), I imagined a modern tango ballet, modern dancers in a choreography of Ana Maria Stekelman (Buenos Aires)

It would be really interesting to have a modern dance group work with this music, and to see what very advanced tangodancers would do with it.
Sometimes it feels like a pity that the chamber music quality comes back somewhere in every piece. After some real pleasent 'heavy stuff', where one could imagine an elephant or an alpha-male gorilla experiencing an angry moment, there's soon the counterpart, the mouse, or the female gorilla, offering peace, calmness, and delicacy. For at least some listeners (who were also dancers) these pieces, like 'Consternación', could have continued and ended as violent as they started. A friend remarked she was impressed by Gallos' sincerety, both in his music and in his presentation of his works, and indeed, that was another enjoyable part of the event.
After the concert, many rushed to get themselves one or more of their CD's. If you became curious now, you may get an impression of their music by listening to the short fragments, but best is to do the whole experience 'live', in Rotterdam or Antwerp, this weekend!

Rob Nuijten
the editor