All Tango? A duo consisting of accordion and cello and the sensual image composition on the CD cover may suggest it. But the first impression could be deceptive. Or maybe not?
The cellist Ana Topalovic and accordionist Nikola Djoric bring together in their new CD "ARCORD: Inspired by Songs and Dances" their own transcriptions of arias and dance-related works from Baroque to Contemporary music. A program that could hardly be more adventurous and inspiring, that is characterized with fascinating versatile sound exploration - in short, a program that puts the listener completely under spell because of a truly infatuating interplay of Ana Topalovic and Nikola Djoric and their respective sonority.
Absolutely style-authentic and yet so unforced, the two move through music history. Wether Purcell, Beethoven, Dvorak, Bartok or Piazzolla (whose Grand Tango is also the only pice of its kind in this production) - Topalovic and Djoric seem to eagerly absorb all in order to put it in a new sound and emotional context. Already at the beginning, with Beethoven's "In men who feel love", the cellist and her partner on accordion show playfulness and expressiveness of captivating intensity, they savor not only the different moods of the individual variations but also sounds and combination possibilities of their instruments. Then Nikola Djoric performs very poetically the Gavotte from Bach's Suite no. 5 (BWV 816) as well as Ana Topalovic two movements from Bach's cello Suite no. 3 (BWV 1009). It is deeply moving how the two sing together from their hearts in the arias from Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas" and Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin" thus making a dynamic creation of the highest quality. Similarly, in Bartok's Romanian Dances and Piazzolla's Grand Tango where the two artists ..... They master perfectly the interplay between sometimes ethereally graceful, sometimes percussively harsh music - one hears once more, how could it be any different, Piazzolla's Grand Tango. Which brings me to the beginning of my thoughts about this all around convincing publication.
All tango? Behind its many faces lie poetry, power, passion, dedication and control, to name a few. Not to mention the melancholy that hovers over everything, even over the serene parts like in Beethoven's variations. If one understands tango outside of its purely musical context, as a possibly most sensual form of intimate togetherness, so is the answer to the initial question a clear yes. Ana Topalovic's and Nikola Djoric's art unite equally harmony and tension; the both performers, or rather their instruments blend together and complement each other in a most excellent way, they meet in an intimate embrace. Wonderful!