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“A born performer.– Colin Cooper

What the critics are saying about Tali Roth
Tali Roth Trio
Not Your Mother’s Tango
Tango Nuevo
Guitarist Illuminates Piazzolla’s Music in a Trio Setting
Tali Roth at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, May 13, 2001
Tango Nuevo: A Tribute to Astor Piazzolla
Melodías Universales

“Extraordinary Guitarist”

The Village Voice, Deborah Jowitt

“Marvelous Classical Guitarist”

The New York Times, Claudia La Rocco

“Tali Roth’s concert in March of 2006 was full of energy, passion, and virtuosity. Her presentation of the tango repertoire was exciting and her arrangements were refreshingly unique. The singer, violinist, and double bass player added variety and spice to the performance, magically transporting the audience to Argentina for two hours. Each and every listener walked away only wanting to hear more.”

– J. Andrew Dickenson, President of the New York City Classical Guitar Society

“extraordinarily tasteful dynamic range and tonal variations … outstanding virtuosity”

– Guitar Review

“Tali Roth is a wonderfully gifted artist.”

– New York Concert Review

“An outstanding guitarist who is gifted with an excellent technique and expressive, emotive musicality that is both compelling and rare.”

– Sharon Isbin

“Tali Roth… knows how to bring something new and fresh in her musical personality every time. Complex playing, dramatic force, and spiritual sensitivity are conveyed through a free and flowing technique.”

– Classical Guitar Magazine

“… an extraordinary chamber and solo musician.”

– Classical Guitar Magazine

“A born performer.”

– Colin Cooper

“… fabulous technical facility …”

– New York Concert Review

From Tango Reporter
May 2004

Tango Nuevo, Music of Astor Piazzolla.
Laughing Buddha LBP99-2010
New York (2003)

Tali Roth is an Israeli guitarist who has distinguished herself in the world of classical music. Attracted by tango, she seems to have found no better tango to record than that of Piazzolla, music listened in recently by everyone who feels attracted by tango. As a result, there has been great competition to achieve good versions of Piazzolla’s songs. Tali Roth’s CD is one of the best guitar versions. She receives great support from Humberto Ridolfi on violin (he plays an incredible solo in Café 1930) and from Pablo Aslan on double bass. Highlights include her versions of Milonga del Angel, La Muerte del Angel, Primavera Portena, and Acentuado y Compadre.

by Anthony Bez
Guitar Review

Tali Roth Trio at Saint Peter’s Church, New York City
Tali Roth - guitar, Leonardo Suarez Paz - violin, Pablo Aslan - bass
Saturday, January 31, 2004
A Concert Celebration of the New CD Tango Nuevo

A not so quiet revolution occurred in tango during our lifetimes due to the artistic vision of Astor Piazzolla. Piazzolla, born in Argentina in 1921, spent his formative years here in New York and moved back to Argentina to play in tango orchestras at the age of 17. The sophistication of a classical musician merged with his innate love of tango and jazz forms through years of study with the likes of Alberto Ginastera and eventually Nadia Boulanger, who encouraged him to remain true to his roots. In the 1950s his vision of a fusion of the above elements caused tremendous conflict and even violence among elitist symphony followers in Buenos Aires. As well, his approach caused dissension and criticism from traditional tangueros. The persistence of this one man’s vision began to bear fruit by the 1970s when Piazzolla’s Tango Nuevo music reached acceptance and actually began to be popularized. It is now a privilege to be among the elite new tango musicians as it is a formidable test of one’s musicianship as well as an exciting music, full of the drama and sensitivity of traditional tango combined with the high energy of rock and jazz fusion bands.

Internationally acclaimed guitarist Tali Roth and her trio gave us a tour d’force of the music of Astor Piazzolla at St. Peter’s Church on Saturday night in celebration of their Tango Nuevo CD. Beginning the program with a solo guitar work entitled Milonga del Angel, Ms. Roth immediately established her connection to the moody balladic beauty of the guitar. Despite the fact that Piazzolla’s music was written mainly for a variety of ensembles, the guitar here spoke volumes in Ms. Roth’s expressive hands. Towards the end of the piece, just when you were wondering how much more depth one could wring from the main theme, Ms. Roth was joined quietly, dramatically by world renowned tango dancers Mariela Franganillo and Jorge Torres in a move that absolutely added a new perspective to the performance. This innovation of the dance taking place alongside the guitar was repeated judiciously throughout the program and enhanced the aural experience with a sexy, compelling, visual dynamic. For the second number, Acentuado, Ms. Roth was joined by highly sought after tango musicians Leonardo Suarez Paz on violin and Pablo Aslan on bass. It is an interesting twist that we would now have the whole trio before us as Acentuado is actually the rare piece that Piazzolla wrote for solo guitar, here arranged for three instruments by Michael Barry. It has a stunning opening as the musicians use their instruments percussively followed by runs inspired by high energy fusion elements.

In a very sweet bit of programming, we were then treated to a traditional tango performed on solo guitar, El Choclo by composer Angel Villodo. It was a reminder of what dimension the subsequent pieces spring from. Returning to Piazzolla for the rest of the program, we next heard Verano Porteסo in another solo arrangement. Ms. Roth has a thoroughly studied flair for this type of composition. The musicianship demonstrated in the opening pizzicato thematic motif and the driving harmony and rhythm belie a deep sensitivity and emotion in the interlude of the piece that wells up to a flourish of descending chords before a recapitulation of the opening theme. Retrato do Milton ended the first half as a trio arrangement by Jay Kauffman. This is a tribute to the Brazilian composer and singer Milton Nacimento and you can hear harmonies and structure reminiscent of Nacimento throughout the piece. Mr. Suarez Paz lent excitement to this opening with the violin playing countermelody or doubling with the guitar until the moving interlude began with guitar and bass accompaniment passionately played by Ms. Roth and Mr. Aslan. The quiet section became more of a guitar solo punctuated by Ms. Roth’s extraordinarily tasteful dynamic range and tonal variations until joined once again by the violin in an echo of the primary motif, then evocative, lingering, and beautifully expressed violin long tones building to a full blown recap and powerful ending.

The second half of the program began with the solo guitar arrangement of Adios Nonino. This piece begins with the Tango Nuevo feel but does not spend a lot of time developing before lapsing into a ballad. The ballad feel was maintained throughout as Ms. Roth contributed a rare pathos to this piece, which was written upon the death of Piazzolla’s father, Nonino. Compadre followed for trio. This is a rather amusing work that takes advantage of dissonances, sforzandi tones and noises, percussive effects, harmonics, violin glissandi interspersed with cycle of fifth resolutions made more than obvious by the use of trills and long tones giving the effect of a recitative. Still, it is an effective work with the rhythmic timing and interplay of Ms. Roth’s guitar, Mr. Suarez Paz’s violin and Mr. Aslan’s bass.

A change in program allowed us to hear an original setting of a Piazzolla piece. Cafe 1930 is one of four movements of the famously sexy Histoire du Tango, a historical portrait of the development of tango for flute or violin and the guitar. Here is pure Piazzolla writing exquisite parts. This movement is about the cafes where the tango eventually took hold after it was purportedly created in the bordello a generation earlier. It is a melancholy movement that relies on melody and a bit of drama. It becomes rather sweet in its interlude. Violinist Leonardo Suarez Paz as well as guitarist Tali Roth displayed their comfort in the genre here, easily moving from sentimentality to passion, pregnant anticipation to languidness - a heartfelt portrait by both of them.

The last three pieces on the program consisted of solo guitar arrangements of Muerte del Angel and Primavera Porteסa as well as a trio arrangement of Otono Porteסo. The Primavera Porteסa solo arrangement as well as the Verano Porteסo and Milonga del Angel from the first half are most likely the Baltazar Benitez arrangements referred to in the program. These are highly technical arrangements of extremely demanding music. Ms. Roth handled them with aplomb and outstanding virtuosity. Despite their driving rhythmic nature, she always found exciting ways to shape them to her expression and vision. The Otono Porteסo started out with a bang as Mr. Suarez Paz scratched at the strings behind the bridge of his violin for sound effects then supported the guitar line before the whole piece sank quickly into a kind of bluesy vocabulary. There was no lack of dimension here. The interlude sections became rather dreamy solos first for guitar, then violin held up respectively by Pablo Aslan’s broad pad of arco bass lines and slides.

Gallo Ciego, a traditional tango by Augustin Bardi, was the perfect way to end the concert. This was like listening to a traditional tango band improvising with abandon. In the background on and offstage we were treated again to the gorgeous dancing of Mariela Franganillo and Jorge Torres while the violin took its lead accompanied by tango rhythm on guitar and interspersed with delicious melodic and harmonic bowed accompaniment by Pablo Aslan. The evening ended with everyone onstage making a contribution to the rich history of tango and the future of Tango Nuevo.

From El Once Tango News, Spring 2004

Since the genius of Astor Piazzolla is now accepted and honored in the Tango world of Argentina, and as the man himself passed away 12 years ago, maybe the title of Tango Nuevo is wearing a bit thin for a CD solely dedicated to his work. Certainly the musicians in that country seem to be searching for the next stage… something new.

However, classical musicians seem drawn to Piazzolla and the classical guitarist, Tali Roth, based on New York, is no exception. On this CD she is accompanied by Pablo Aslan (bass) and Humberto Ridolfe (violin), all very accomplished musicians and all of whom contribute to the arrangements.

The chosen titles include the season suite, Retrato de Milton, Milonga del Angel, Nightclub 1960, La Muerte del Angel, Cafי 1930, Bordel 1900, Accentuado and Compadre.

If you like classical guitar and if you like Piazzolla, then you’ll love this CD.

By Aryeh Eller
NYlon Review, Winter 2004

Latin/World music fans and those familiar with or new to the music of legendary Argentinean composer and tango master Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) will be glad to add guitarist Tali Roth’s new recording Tango Nuevo - Music of Astor Piazzolla (Laughing Buddha Records LBP99-2010) to their CD collection.

Tango Nuevo, or New Tango, refers to innovations Piazzolla and others brought to the traditional tango - using small chamber ensembles instead of the usual orchestra, employing sophisticated harmonies, and weaving contrapuntal textures that recall Baroque music. With these features Piazzolla brought this ballroom dance into the concert hall, where it is appreciated today for it rich musical values alone.

Roth, a graduate of the Juilliard School, presents solo guitar arrangements of the master and explores the versatility of the instrument in a trio-chamber music setting. Expert tango players Humberto Ridolfi, violinist, and Pablo Aslan, bassist, collaborate with Roth to give the music a rhythmic and textural heft that would not be possible with guitar only. The cry of the violin and the dark and rhythmic anchor of the low register of the bass give the recording an authentic tango flavor rarely heard in guitar recordings of Piazzolla’s works.

The effectiveness of the guitar as participant in a chamber setting is evident from the first track, Retrato de Milton (Milton’s Portrait), where the music literally sounds three-dimensional, the musicians seeming to play right in front of you. Such is the force and passion of this close-knit ensemble. Roth plays a number of solo guitar works, most memorably Baltazar Benitez’s arrangement of Milonga Del Angel. Her interpretation of this most haunting of Piazzolla’s milongas oozes with a dark, brooding sensuality. Her phrasing of Piazzolla’s lugubrious and unforgettable melody is personal, expressive and melodic, the tone from her Otto Vowinkel guitar meltingly lovely. These qualities Roth displays to her advantage on Jay Kaufmann’s arrangement of Ontoסo Porteno (Autumn), one of Piazzolla’s Four Seasons in Buenos Aires, composed originally for chamber ensemble. In long solo passages from this beautiful work, Roth’s guitar takes the place of the usual bandoneon (Argentine accordion and Piazzola’s main instrument) with long, reflective legato phrases - you’d think she is blowing air into the notes instead of plucking them.

Roth demonstrates her formidable virtuoso technique in three movements from L’Histoire Du Tango (History of the Tango), played with Ridolfi on violin. The duo conjure the tango in all its glory - from its early beginnings in turn-of-the-century bordellos to its place in a nightclub circa 1960 - with both vibrant and languid music. Other highlights of the disc are two movements from Piazzolla’s only original solo work for guitar, the Cinco Piezas para Guitarra, arranged by Michael Barry. The trio play two of the more rhythmic pieces of this work, Acentuado and Compadre, presenting a fresh perspective on the music.

The CD as a whole has a wonderful sense of intimacy that draws you into Piazzolla’s sensuous and cosmopolitan world. Roth, Ridolfi and Aslan play every note by the master with extreme understanding, dedication and infectious passion. Highly recommended.

From Classical Guitar
August 2001

Artists International presented guitarist Tali Roth to a tightly-packed audience at Weill Recital Hall. The recital, largely devoted to music written by the Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla, comprised challenging solo works and chamber arrangements combining violin, violoncello, and a mezzo-soprano.

Ms. Roth is an extraordinary chamber and solo musician. She possesses a solid tone and a tasteful rubato, but has the ability to switch in an instant from a lyrical atmosphere to an aggressive roughness which is also at the heart of Piazzolla’s music.

The concert opened with “Tristón” and “Compadre”, two movements of Piazzolla’s “Cinco piezas para guitarra”, the only work written by the composer specifically for solo guitar. In this piece, Piazzolla attempts to break out from his own established “Tango Nuevo” style (an urban kind of music), and includes instead rhythmic and harmonic elements that belong to the rural areas of Argentina. Surprisingly, Miss. Roth chose to offer it in a trio arrangement (violin, violoncello, guitar) by Mike Barry, which made it probably more accessible, but which made the piece lose part of its introspective and abstract quality.

Ms. Roth then gave us the pleasure of hearing her pure sound in “Milonga del ángel — Muerte del angel,” both arranged for solo guitar by Baltasar Benítez. In a quasi-recitativo style, her rich repertory of articulations and pensive mode skillfully expressed the rhythmic freedom and melancholy of these pieces.

At this point in the concert, Ms. Roth was joined by mezzo-soprano Bavat Marom, who sang “Milonga de Jacinto Chiclana”, “La última grela”, “Oblivion”, and “Alguien le dice al tango”, all in arrangements by Ady Cohen.

But the highlight of the evening was “Histoire du Tango” (written originally for flute and guitar, arranged here for guitar and violin), played by Tali Roth and Humberto Ridolfi. The two instruments complemented each other with rhythmic precision that was never felt as mechanical, and their performance rather conveyed the improvisatory feeling that is essential to the tango genre but so difficult to achieve for the classically-trained performer. The magical atmosphere had its peak when dancers Ronen Khayat and Cecilia Saia joined the stage in full tango gear. At this point everyone in the audience had the chance to understand the connection between the provocative turns of the dancers and the slow seductive music.

Without intermission, the second half of the concert once again featured Ms. Roth with violinist Humberto Ridolfi and the fine cellist Chagit Glaser on “Trio Sonatina”, a very interesting and refreshing work by Jay Kauffman, followed by more solo arrangements: “Verano Porteño” and “Primavera Porteña”, perhaps two of the most famous pieces Piazzolla ever wrote. Ms. Roth succeeded in presenting these pieces — which were originally conceived by Piazzolla as heavily contrapuntal chamber works — in versions for solo guitar. Afterwards, Ms. Roth was once again joined by Bavat Marom, who sang “Balada para un loco”.

The concert came to a grand close with “Retrato de Milton” and “Otoño Porteño”, also arranged for guitar, violin, and cello, with the captivating collaboration of dancers Mariela Franganillo, Angel Garcia, Cecilia Saia, and Ronen Khayat.

Copyright 2001 by Martin Kutnowski

From New York Concert Review
Summer 2001

Tango Nuevo: A Tribute to Astor Piazzolla
featuring Tali Roth, Guitar
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
May 13, 2001

This late-afternoon/early-evening event at the Weill Recital Hall presented to the public Tali Roth and company, who performed some stunning interpretations of the works of Astor Piazzolla. Ms. Roth plays classical Spanish guitar, and she appeared with Humberto Ridolfi (violin), Chagit Glaser (cello), and Bavat Marom (mezzo-soprano). Adding a wonderful visual component to the concert were dancers Mariela Franganillo, Angel Garcia, Cecilia Saia, and Ronen Khayat. The majority of the pieces performed were arranged by Jay Kauffman, Ady Cohen, Michael Barry, and Baltazar Benitez, all of whom (with the exception of Mr. Benitez) were in attendance.

Eight long pieces — most of which had anywhere from two to four major sections or movements — were listed on the program. The first piece, Triston — Compadre, was interestingly arranged by Mr. Barry and performed by all three instrumentalists. Triston was appropriately lugubrious, with the perhaps more-contemporary-sounding arrangement of Compadre providing a nice contrast. The next section, Milonga del Angel — La muerte del Angel (arranged by Mr. Benitez), was performed by Ms. Roth and dancers, and although the second section was perhaps a little too upbeat for “muerte,” the dancing of the milonga was truly stunning.

The third arrangement was by Mr. Cohen and performed by Ms. Roth and Ms. Marom. Jacinto Chiclana (milonga) — La Ultima Grela (tango) — Oblivion (milonga) — Alguien le dice al Tango (tango) had some wonderful moments, particularly during the nostalgically lovely Oblivion. This was Ms. Marom’s first appearance of the evening, and she received strong approval from the audience. Mr. Cohen’s arrangement was followed by Histoire du Tango: Cage 1930 — Night Club 1900, the fourth selection of the evening. This musical history of the tango was performed by Ms. Roth and Mr. Ridolfi, with all four dancers included during the final movement.

Providing contrast to an almost-all-Piazzolla evening, the fifth piece was composed by Mr. Kauffman, for Ms. Roth. Trio Sonatina (Lento - Lento - Allegro moderato) is an exquisite composition and was performed well by Ms. Roth. The first movement included dance by one of the couples; the second was heavily virtuosic (and included some very nice dissonances that worked well within the context of the rest of the music), which helped to exhibit some of Ms. Roth’s fabulous technical facility.

Balada para un loco (arranged by Mr. Cohen) featured Ms. Roth, Ms. Glaser, and Ms. Marom, while the final piece on the program, Retrato de Milton — Otono Porteno (arranged by Mr. Kauffman), featured Ms. Roth, Ms. Glaser, and Mr. Ridolfi (the same performers who opened the evening). The Retrato was a little rough in spots, but Orteno Porteno brought back all four dancers, and was clearly a well-chosen finale.

Perhaps because the musicians and management knew that this was to be a very full program, no intermission was scheduled; nonetheless, we were treated to an encore, which featured all four musicians. The audience roared its approval, and the evening came to a close. Tali Roth is a wonderfully gifted artist whom one hopes will perform in New York often.

– Daniel Thompson

Daniel Thompson is an ethnomusicologist and music educator in New York City. He is a President’s Fellow at Columbia University and former editor-in-chief of Current Musicology.

From El Diario de Hoy
February 1, 2002

En el marco de VII Festival por la paz, la guitarrista israelí Tali Roth se presentó en el auditorium del Museo Nacional de Antropología David J. Guzmán. La artista deleitó a los asistentes con diferentes obras compositores clásicos como J.S. Bach y modernos como Villa-Lobos y Barrios.

A la presentación asistieron el Embajador de Israel en El Salvador, Yosef Livne; el Presidente de Concultura, Gustavo Herodier y otras autoridades en materia cultural. El auditorium no dio abasto para todos espectadores que deseaban admirar la destreza de sus manos para interpretar las melodías.

Sus vivencias

Tali Roth debutó en Carnegie Hall con la Orquesta Juilliard. A partir de ahí, su carrera ha subido de manera vertiginosa y excitante presentándose a lo largo de su país natal Israel, Europa y Estados Unidos. Sus conciertos en noteamérica han incluido el Alice Tully Hall del Lincoln Center (con el violinista Midori), el Caramoor Center y el Festival de Música de Aspen.

Su sensibilidad por las piezas musicales la ha llevado a descubrir nuevas ideas en la música de los viejos maestros y a encontrar la eterna belleza en los trabajos de los compositores modernos.

“Amo las presentaciones, me dan el regocijo de compartir mis descubrimientos musicales con la audiencia. Pero el gusto de descubrir está allí para todos nosotros, para artistas y para quienes nos escuchan, si nuestros oídos, nuestras mentes y nuestros corazones están abiertos a la música”.

Además de sus recitales como solista, Roth se ha presentado en una serie de eventos en radio y televisión en vivo, tanto en Estados Unidos como en el extranjero, por invitación de las Naciones Unidas en Washington, así como por dignatarios como el ex Primer Ministro Shimon Peres, ex Primer Ministro Ehud Barak y el Secretario de Estado Collin Powell.

Sus estudios

Roth estudió con Joseph Urshalmi en la Academia Rubin de Jerusalen y posteriormente con Sharon Isbin en la escuela Juilliard, donde obtuvo su Maestría en Música. También asistió a la Academia Chigiana en Siena, Italia y a la Academia Cologne en Alemania, estudiando con Oscar Ghiglia y Hubert Kappel, respectivamente.

Tali Roth ha sido instructora en el Festival de Música de Aspen y actualmente es miembro de la facultad del Instituto Americano de Guitarra de la ciudad de Nueva York.

Entre los premios y reconocimientos recibidos se encuentran el Premio Principal en todas las categorías de la Competencia de Maestros de la Música y Conductores en Suiza; Primer Lugar en la Competencia Nacional de Guitarristas de Israel, y el Premio de la Competencia Internacional de Artistas de Nueva York.

El repertorio de Tali Roth va desde compositores barrocos hasta los contemporáneos como Leo Brouwer. Su estilo emotivo está particularmente acoplado a los trabajos de Granados, Albeniz y otros románticos españoles y sus contrapartes de América Latina.

Roth a menudo invita a otros artistas a colaborar con ella en grupos de cámara, presentaciones de nuevas propuestas musicales y se hace acompañar de bailarines y cantantes. Sus arreglos incluyen adaptaciones a la guitarra de estilos no tradicionales como el tango nuevo de Astor Piazzolla.

Lorena Baires, El Diario de Hoy

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