Mi Loco Tango
Del diablo y del Angel
ZAMA 003 (EAN 881390245321)

About devils and angels is the title of a new production from the award-winning ensemble Mi Loco Tango. It is an homage to Astor Piazzolla. This magnificent Tango-innovator dedicated an entire range of original compositions to the devil and the angels and scattered them in many of his publications. Today these little stories are for the first time combined and confronted by the ensemble Mi Loco Tango.

"My stories mix Devils and Angels…you need to have a little of everything."

That's from the maestro of Tango Nuevo, Astor Piazzolla. Reason enough for the quartet from Frankfurt to use these stories for their second tango program. In the middle are the two cycles "Del Diablo" and "Del Angel"-rarely played pieces from the Argentinean composer.

The four musicians have already proved their virtuosity in recent years with works from Piazzolla for which they were awarded the World Music Prize "creole 2007" & laureate 2. Astor Piazzolla Festival "Libertango". Devils and angels is the next step in the ensembles ride through the world of the Italian soundtrack. Through the use of their instruments they show how devious an angel and how magically appealing the devil can be. The violin howls like a werewolf, the double bass becomes a percussive, slashing instrument of torture, the piano heavenly and the bayan, at the top of its mastery, from the deepest register to the highest organ sounds. Mi Loco Tango creates a contrasting rainbow of sounds through the work of Astor Piazzolla and is not afraid to do the unexpected. For example, for the melodrama "El Tango" the quartet had the lyrics translated (by Rainer Dachselt) from the original Spanish (by the great Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges) and invited the performer and director Willy Praml (he is the father of the double-bass player Gregor Praml) to their studio-sessions to work with him to achieve an absolute newness to the interpretation of Piazzolla's work. Alberto Mompellio who worked with Mi Loco Tango as their convivial arranger of the movie music-album "II Cinema": il Paradiso!" is again part of this recording and responsible for refining the arrangements to Adios Nonino and Mumuki which, through his Italian origins, have given a completely new meaning to tango Nuevo.

With their new album Del Diablo y del Angel Mi Loco Tango clearly shows that the tango they play comes from deep inside their heart and soul.

Mi Loco Tango on these recordings:

Adios Nonino

Our accordion player Vassily has introduced this piece to us before, in a special form. It is an arrangement for four accordions from the French accordion player Richard Galliano who was a close friend of Astor Piazzolla. At this time we had not yet worked with Alberto Mompellio as arranger, it is only through him that we had the idea to have this special version of the Piazzolla classic tailored for us. Through it this homage to Piazzolla´s father experiences a very new effect.

The Cycle "Del Angel"

Exactly as Adios Nonino, the recording of the four pieces of the Angles-cycle is a live recording from the radio city hall of the "Hessischer Rundfunk". At this time we were able to complete the piece with the prelude Introduccion al Angel and it is Mi Loco Tango's first performance of the complete Angels Suite. The sequence of two tranquil pieces in succession is a result of the story. Piazzolla was appointed as composer for the incidental music of a stage play and started his work full of enthusiasm. His music accompanies the story of an angel who protects the inhabitants of a tenement building. However the angel is caught by a villain and murdered. A small miracle is needed, but the angel will rise…

El Tango

We are very proud of this version of the melodrama El Tango. It is very distinct and did not exist in this form before. The German version, written by Rainer Dachselt from the lyrics by Jorge Luis Borges, is a perfect match. It meets the premise exactly as intended by Piazzolla, and enables the German listener who does not understand the Spanish language, to take part and experience this homage to the ancestors of the tango. Willy Praml loaned us his voice, the voice we wanted for it from the first moment.


Alberto Mompellio, in top form, made the opening of this piece possible by staging it for violin and double bass, (In Piazzolla`s original the preamble is written for a solo electric-guitar but we do not have this instrument in our ensemble). Laura Escalada-Piazzolla, the widow of the composer was extremely impressed when we played it to her during the competition "Libertango" in Italy. Mumuki is her nickname.

The Cycle "Del Diablo"

The passion of the tango paired with modern classic components is established in the devils cycle. It is enthralling and exciting to play and to hear. Especially when after the provoking preamble piece Tango del Diablo where real fireballs fly, the erotic and sweet atmosphere of the Romance del Diablo comes. However, there is no escape, even if the devil hides behind a beautiful face, in the end it is wild again, wilder than ever, Vayamos al Diablo, such an invocation can hardly be better expressed in music.


We put Contrabajisimo as the last piece in our stage program, because this small symphony (it is over 10 minutes long) was played on speakers throughout the whole cemetery "Jardin de Paz" in Buenos Aires during Piazzolla's funeral. It is here, almost the last piece, because it combines everything musical that represents Piazzolla beautifully. Typical scenes emerge again, wander through each instrument and finally the double bass gets a primary role as a melodic instrument.


Numerous people have talked to us about this piece when they heard us playing it. Obviously it has magical power. It is probably the mixture of the monotone backing provided by the double-bass (countless beats played simply in A in slow 4/4 time) and the beautiful guiding of the melody through the other three instruments who literally drift away with it. But the question is, is it the devils or the angels whose fingers are playing?


01. Adios Nonino
02. Introduccion al Angel
03. Milonga del Angel
04. La Muerte del Angel
05. La Resurreccion del Angel
06. El Tango
07. Mumuki
08. Tango del Diablo
09. Romance del Diablo
10. Vayamos al Diablo
11. Contrabajisimo
12. Casapueblo



Winners of these awards

creole 2007 (German World Music Award)
32. Festival Internationale Fisharmonica (Cinematic Music Award, Castelfidardo, Italy)
2. Astor Piazzolla Festival Libertango (Tango Award, Lanciano, Italy

The international quartet Mi Loco Tango, consisting of a bayan player (chromatic button accordion) from Russia, a violinist and a pianist from Germany and a German-French double-bass player, formed in 2002 and dedicated to the work of the Argentine composer and musician Astor Piazzolla. The original objective was to newly define his music while embracing the individual experiences of each musician - to play this music differently. Since then a widely diversified repertoire has developed including the most important works from Piazzolla's legacy, classic works like "Libertango" and "Oblivion", however it also includes a few rarities like "Tanti Anni Prima" and currently both musical cycles "Del Diablo" and "Del Angel".

Piazzolla, who put his compositional skill towards theater, music and dance, was the catalyst for the quartet to take the next step, film music, using exactly the typical tango instrumentation as displayed by Mi Loco Tango. The four musicians from Frankfurt were especially taken with the Italian maestros Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone and their famous peers.

Since its formation the work of the ensemble has been recognized and awarded at different occasions. From the world music prize "creole 2007" to the 1. Prize of the film music category at the "32. Festival Internationale Fisharmonica" (Castelfidardo, Italy) also in 2007 and finally last years tango prize "Libertango" at the 2. Astor Piazzolla Festival (Lanciano, Italy) - a highlight in the group's carrier so far. Laura Escalada-Piazzolla, the widow of Astor Piazzolla was head of the jury.

Vassily Dück comes from Blagoweschenka, Siberia. He completed his studies in music at the public academy of music, Conservatoire Novosibirsk, obtaining a diploma as music teacher and soloist of the Bayan. Engaged as soloist and concertmaster at the philharmonic Altai as well as public orchestra "Siberia", his repertoire ranges from classic to folklore. CD productions: Solo CD "Bajan", "Der rote Schal" and "Toujours la Piaf" linked with the stage production of the same title at the theatre in Bielefeld. His diverse musical engagements include the theaters in Detmold and Mannheim as well as the "Theater Willy Praml" in Frankfurt.

Irina Brunn comes from Frankfurt am Main where she studied the violin at the "Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Künste". Since completion of her studies she has played in several different musical groups with styles ranging from baroque to modern music. Irina also works as a teacher and lecturer. She is co-founder and first violinist of the "Cambio Quartet" and chamber orchestra "Die Lunas".

Judith Herrmann comes from Frankfurt am Main. She studied at the Music College in Cologne and Frankfurt, under, amongst others, B. Kontarsky. She composed for the "Klappmaul Theater" in Frankfurt, the theatre "Illuminativ" in Bad Camberg and the musical theatre "Fettige Gesänge" with C. Niemann and A. Roelofs. She conducted the Laterna-Magica-Shows "Die Nibelungen" and "Zwischen Wunder und Wissenschaft". Her repertoire also includes the chansons as in the show "Beziehungsweisen" with J. Zollmann.

Gregor Praml comes from Frankfurt am Main. He graduated from the "Hochschule für music Franz Liszt" (College of Music) in Weimar and studied double bass in New York, USA with Santi De Briano. Gregor plays double bass and electric-bass in various musical groups and theater projects. He is composer, arranger and musical director for, amongst others, "Maria Stuart" (2003), "Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre" (2004), "Medea" (2005),"Im Dickicht der Städte" (2006), "36,9 GRAD Brecht . Houellebecq" (2006/07), Jesus d'amour: geb. 0/ gestorben - auferstanden (2006-2008), "Ariadnes Faden, Arthurs Schwester Marie & der "ächte" Naxosschmirgel (2007), "Marquise von O" (2007) and "Don Carlos. Infant" (2008). He is a lecturer for music at the Fachhochschule Frankfurt am Main and a music producer, amongst others, "Del Diablo y Del Angel" (Mi Loco Tango) and different compilations of songs for children, amongst others, "Zuckerschnecksche, Prinzje & Co" and "Lille Peter, Akiko & Co". Gregor is a freelance editor and producer at the official radio station from the state of Hessen (Hessischer Rundfunk).

Alberto Mompellio - Arranger and composer, born in Vigevano (Pavia) Italy. Since the mid seventies Alberto is one of the most sought after studio musicians in Italy, his principals are artists like Patty Pravo, Fabrizio De Andre, Mina and Gina Paoli. Until 2004 he worked together with the singer Milva, being her keyboard player on several world tours. Mompellio came to Frankfurt in the mid eighties and remained there. However his work on compositions and orchestral arrangements for film productions such as "Igby goes down" (2001 with Geff Goldblum and Susan Sarandon) and "All the Queen's Men" (Matt LeBlanc) often takes him to Hollywood. In Germany he is highly respected as the orchestra arranger for, amongst others, Nena's album "Jubiläum" (Filmorchestra of Babelsberg), the production of the audio book "Olaf, der Elch" (Filmorchestra of Babelsberg) and the "3 Soprano Project" (Symphonic orchestra of Prag). Mompellio has also penned various publications such as "Die Musik des amerikanischen Films: musikalische Stereotypen in amerikanischen Filmen" and "Die Geschichte der italienischen Popmusik von den 1950ern bis heute" (published in Italy).

Mi Loco Tango - Press quotes

"Mi Loco Tango, that means elegance, verve and reduction" (Frankfurter Rundschau)

"Terrific Tango à la Frankfurt. They have the Tango in their blood" (Frankfurter Rundschau)

"The two women provide a solid base for the quartet. Clear, of fascinating forcefulness the violin from Irina Bunn. Judith Herrmann on the piano: powerful, competent and rhythmic. Gregor Praml, easy and springy on the double bass gives the tango melody a reliable hold and the powerful accordion from Vassily Dück introduces unusual sound. [….] The representation of the "wild" tango: precise and played to perfection." (Frankfurter Rundschau)

"The skill of this ensemble reveals itself in the quality of the arrangement and in the subtleness of listening and reacting towards each other" (Main Post)

"The performance from this ensemble in Frankfurt puts Piazzolla as a composer in the same rank of Schubert and Debussy. [….] The different provenance of the musicians suits Piazzollas music." (Frankfurter Rundschau)

"Last but not least it remains to say that the reflected arrangements of Mompellios have superb partners in Mi Loco Tango who through their joy of music, virtuosity and sensuality put the "rough diamond" of sheet music into a fitting golden casket of taste and sophisticated musical culture seldom to be bettered." (Intermusik Zeitung)

"Orchestral music with classical tango instrumentation - it sounds like a true challenge and a project which could also cause a sensation outside Germany." (Journal Frankfurt)



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