The listener wishing to get acquainted with Astor Piazzolla's tangos has many options to choose from: the composer's own recordings, adaptations for classical ensembles, and various more arcane versions. This release features a young Armenian group of classically trained musicians, but the performances don't quite fit under the classical umbrella. Instead they offer a way of playing tango music that would have been familiar three-quarters of a century ago, but isn't heard much these days: you might call it sentimental salon tango. The group uses a quintet instrumentation that compromises among Piazzolla's various groups: violin, piano, guitar, bandoneón, and bass. A few pieces, notably the opening Escualo, partake of Piazzolla's heavy tango rhythms, but mostly the group is after a more languid sound, with several newly arranged works putting emphasis on the duo of violinist Ashot Khoyetsyan and pianist (and arranger) Armen Babakhanian. Their approach brings Piazzolla closer to the relaxed tango sound out of which his own art grew, and it's no accident that of the non-Piazzolla works on the album, two of them, by Carlos Gardel and Héctor Stamponi (not Stampioni, as the name erroneously appears in the booklet), are from the interwar tango generation. The tango fantasy, really more of a medley, on themes from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, also suggests the music of an earlier period. Listeners' reactions to this are likely to vary according to their backgrounds: those enamored of Piazzolla's own recordings may recall his admonition to his musicians to put some more 'mud' into their playing, but those who value tango as a specific kind of mood music rather than specifically for Piazzolla's groundbreaking stylistic fusions will find this an unusual addition to the corpus of recorded tango. The sound environment created at the venerable Abbey Road studios is well suited to the recording's aims.