Recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina and just released by Centaur Records, "Una Viola Porteña" is a delightful mix of Argentine classical music, traditional tango, and el tango nuevo. The works were either commissioned or adapted for the viola by Donna Lively Clark who performs on the viola in various combinations with Argentine musicians. Compositions by Astor Piazzolla are featured on 6 tracks, including two little known original pieces for viola and piano. Walter Rios plays bandoneon with Ms. Clark on two famous tangos, El Dia Que Me Quieras (Gardel) and Milonga Triste (Piana). Master guitarist and composer Sebastian Zambrana is featured in his own compositions and those of Piazzolla. Other collaborations are with folk drums and a typical tango orchestra. The CD is available for purchase through Centaurrecords.com, Amazon.com, Violin Shop of Old Carmel, Franks Violins, Indianapolis Violins (Downtown Indy), or by contacting Donna Clark at Dviola1@comcast.net.
Una Viola Porteña
“Donna Clark fits her viola into the culture and the city, which earns it the title of “porteña” and gives listeners a new way to experience the distinctive beat and its inherent sensual essence. Clark builds her adaptations around and inside the “tremendous inner passion, earthiness, longing and haunting melancholy” of tango music. The viola, which naturally blends well with other instruments, provides arresting combinations particularly with works by Piazzolla. The album is altogether pleasing and brilliant”
(Excerpt from the review: Two to Tango by Rita Kohn for NUVO)
“Tango music with viola--why not? This classical musician playing a rather unusual instrument for the tango scene not only studied the style but mastered it. The centerpieces of the CD are the Duo Criollo tracks with the American violist, Donna Clark, and the Argentine guitarist Sebastián Zambrana. One will also hear duos with with diverse native instruments including two tangos with viola and bandoneón and a bigger track with an orquesta tipica. Naturally, Piazzolla is the main composer, but the longest piece on the CD is Zambrana’s Miradas Rioplatenses, is of great interest. The rest of the selections are dedicated to tango lovers and all are highly recommended: tanguissimo!”
(Excerpt from a review by Wieland Ulrichs (translated by Christa Grundy) for Akustik Gitarre)