A hot and muggy night with the audience sweating behind their masks like Rafa Nadal in the fifth set was the perfect setting for the cut and thrust of steamy and sexy tangos and the launch of the ACO’s 2022 season.

Classical accordion maestro James Crabb tracked the dance’s origins from the brothels and race tracks of Buenos Aires to the salons of Paris and clubs of New York in this vibrant tribute to Astor Piazzolla, the creator of nuevo tango and a world of angels and devils, here fittingly played out in the packed City Recital Hall at Angel Place.

On the way Crabb, sitting front centre stage and directing from behind his shiny black piano accordion – a beefy cousin of the Argentian’s wheezy bandoneon – tipped a hat to Piazzolla’s violinist bandmate Antonio Agri in a superb duet with Richard Tognetti, and to French-Argentine singer and heart-throb Carlos Gardel, whose hit Por Una Cabeza(By A Head), in which a gambling addict compares his love of horses with his fondness for women, evoked some old world charm.

James Crabb and Richard Tognetti performing during the Australian Chamber Orchestra's Piazzolla concert.