El Encuentro

Dino Saluzzi, Anja Lechner, The Metropole Orchestra, Jules Buckley

Dino Saluzzi’s new music for orchestra and soloists characteristically glides through the borders between the idioms. A Saluzzi composition can, from one minute to the next, be “serious”, “popular”, “traditional”, “experimental -, even if these style divisions barely exist for a bandoneonist who prefers to see his work as “simply an expression of innocence”. “El Encuentro” was recorded live in Amsterdam with the Metropole Orchestra in February 2009 and is issued in time for Dino’s 75th birthday in May.

Featured Artists Recorded

February 2009, Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ, Amsterdam

Original Release Date


  • 1Vals de los días (for bandoneon, violoncello and string orchestra)
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 2Plegaria Andina (for bandoneon, violoncello, saxophone and string orchestra)
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 3El Encuentro (for bandoneon, violoncello and string orchestra)
    (Dino Saluzzi)
  • 4Miserere (for bandoneon and string orchestra)
    (Dino Saluzzi)
Impossible perhaps to consider Saluzzi’s work without mention of fellow Argentinian composer Astor Piazolla but it’s the differences that are instructive. Saluzzi’s music lacks Piazzolla’s filmic quality and perhaps relies less on local forms. But these are strengths and the source of Saluzzi’s success in this magnificently atmospheric work. It’s an essay in form. The key lies in the composition itself – in its architecture, its use of colours and textures and the way it plays with form to fashion something of exquisite beauty.
Duncan Heining, Jazzwise
The Argentinian master Cino Saluzzi’s bandoneon and Anja Lechner’s cello fold sensuously into one another on this primarily classical venture, but the emphasis is on the Metropole Orchestra’s strings as they flesh out Saluzzi’s love-and-loss lyricism, wistful waltzes and rugged atmospherics.
John Fordham, The Guardian
Vier weit gespannte Stücke hat er komponiert für sich und 24-köpfiges Streichorchester, die sich zum großen Ganzen addieren. Seelenvolle Musik ist erneut entstanden, die Sentiment und Emotionalität im Breitwandformat zelebriert und ein europäisches Konzertformat in atmosphärischer Dichte mit Lateinamerikanischem zusammenbringt.
Ulrich Steinmetzger, Saarbrücker Zeitung
Als Hauptsolist in diesem als Sinfonia Concertante angelegten, gut einstündigen Werk beschäftigt er sich zusammen mit Bruder Felix am Saxophon und Anja Lechner am Cello auch diesmal wieder mit dem, was er seit Jahren mit großer Beharrlichkeit zu tun pflegt, nämlich Grenzen zu überschreiten. Saluzzi betont zwar immer wieder die Wichtigkeit seiner Wurzeln in der Volksmusik Argentiniens, doch das hindert ihn nicht daran, musikalisch die Koffer zu packen und zu neuen Ufern aufzubrechen.
Ulrich Roth, Jazzpodium

Dino Saluzzi’s first live album for ECM finds the Argentinean bandoneon master at Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw, presenting new orchestral compositions. Dino himself is principal soloist throughout the recording, joined by Anja Lechner and brother Felix Saluzzi at points along the way.

The flowing music, with strings shadowing the movement of the bandoneon, extends the spirit of Dino’s “storytelling” solo works such as “Andina” (to which the piece “Plegaria Andina” makes reference). Dino says, “a lot can be told using few elements. The music should not be too rational. It has to brim with innocence.” “On ‘El Encuentro’” writes Javier Magistris in the liner notes, “the collaboration with cellist Anja Lechner and saxophonist Felix Saluzzi adds a new chapter of beauty in a wider and more complex structure. The soliloquies of the three main characters intertwine prodigiously, like a naturally-flowing current, each voice attaining its greatest expressive splendour by interacting with the harmonic structures.”

The project was set in motion by Amsterdam-based writer/producer Gustavo Pazos, who had visited Saluzzi in Buenos Aires in 2004 to prepare a radio portrait of the bandoneonist-composer, and got to hear some of Dino’s works-in-progress. Holland’s Metropole Orchestra subsequently expressed interest, and with the support of NPS Radio it was possible to present the music in Amsterdam. Pazos points out that the Metropole Orchestra has “fulfilled a major cultural role in the Netherlands” with its long history of encouraging musicians outside the classical mainstream.

“El Encuentro” marked a first-time encounter for composer and orchestra (and both the Metropole Orchestra and conductor Jules Buckley make ECM debuts here) but the cast of soloists draws on some long-standing playing associations, in the case of Dino and Felix more than 60 years of collaborations. They started making music together as children, and today Felix frequently works with his brother in Dino’s “family band” projects, as heard on albums including “Mojotoro” and “Juan Condori”. Felix also plays in a new group with Dino and cellist Anja Lechner, a trio whose formation was a direct result of the shared experience of playing together on “El Encuentro”.

Anja Lechner has worked closely with Dino since the mid-1990s, beginning with the “Kultrum” alliance between Saluzzi and the Rosamunde Quartet, a collaboration which in several respects prefigured “El Encuentro”. She has also toured widely in duo with the bandoneonist, and recorded with him on “Ojos Negros” in 2006.

“El Encuentro” (The Encounter) is released in time for Dino’s 75th birthday on May 21st, 2010.

Earlier this year the Saluzzi brothers and Anja Lechner appeared as soloists with the Musikkollegium Winterthur, performing Dino’s “Sinfonia Concertante”.

In July 2010, Dino is the subject of a special ECM focus at the Atina jazz Festival in Italy. There, he will be joined on stage by Felix Saluzzi, Anja Lechner, John Surman, Palle Mikkelborg, Rosario Bonaccorso and UT Gandhi.