Dressed in a striped, red vest reminiscent of traditional Spanish flamenco styles, Daniel Rojas graced the full-house audience at the ABC’s Eugene Goossens Hall with a beaming smile and kicked the night off with a riveting suite of some of Piazzolla’s most celebrated tangos, arranged by Rojas for string orchestra and piano and conducted by Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams.

TMO Tangos and Tchaikovsky The Metropolitan Orchestra’s Tangos & Tchaikovsky. Photo supplied

Rojas took command of the piano with flair in the virtuosic runs and chords of Libertango, which displayed both jazz and classical influence in its extended harmonies. Such runs and chords appeared frequently throughout the suite, whilst the strings emphasised them and served as rhythmic support. Reaching the climax towards the end of Libertango,Rojas’ engagement and raw energy transferred to the audience as he almost jumped off the stool in excitement, accompanying the music with outbursts of “ehh” and “ahh”, all leading towards the climactic end where he glissandoed the full breadth of the piano. The second movement began with a lyrical and poignant duet between the piano and first desk cello, contrasting the flamboyant Libertango.This movement...

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