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Astor Piazzolla

One of Astor Piazzolla's most popular tangos, Oblivion became widely known through the soundtrack of Marco Bellochio's film Henry IV, the Mad King. The short piece has been recorded in many versions, including for klezmer clarinet, saxophone quartet, and oboe and orchestra.

The featured instrument enters immediately over a subtle, arpeggiated accompaniment (almost Glass-like in it simplicity) with a melody of extreme melancholy -- long-held notes alternating with slowly falling and weaving figures. A middle section offers a minimally contrasting theme, lush but less intense. This is one of Piazzolla's most traditional tangos, less jazzy and Bartókian than his other widely circulated compositions, yet it also has a harmonic sophistication and whispered sadness owing much to Antonio Carlos Jobim.