Author Topic: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)  (Read 12829 times)

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uffeviking

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Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« on: May 17, 2007, 03:34:44 PM »
From Artur Rubinstein's spaghetti dinner to Osvaldo Golijov runs the connection with Piazzolla's emergence as the creator and master of Tango Nuevo, the classical version of the Argentinian folk dance.

When the 18 year old Astor interrupted Rubinstein in his hotel room eating spaghetti, he had with him a concert he had composed for the maestro. Rubinstein finished his meal, sat at the piano, played a few bars and advised the young man to study music. Astor took the advise and studied for six years with Alberto Ginastera and then on to Paris for more studies with Nadia Boulanger, who recognised his talent with her remark: "Your Tango is the new music, and it is sincere."

It was his sincerity that guided his composing throughout his life. In an interview I watched on the DVD Astor Piazzolla. The Next Tango from Deutsche Grammophon he repeatedly pointed out that he is an Argentinian and his music will always be Argentinian, he can not be otherwise. Whether he wrote a Tango or concertos for bandoneon with a string orchestra and percussion, the music is definitely Argentinian.

This is the point where Osvaldo Golijov goes in a different direction from Piazzolla’s influence exposed to while still in his native La Plata, Argentina. He will never deny his Argentinian roots but there are also his roots in his Jewish religion, the Kantors chants and the Klezmer musicians. When he moved via Israel to the US he added yet another musical influence and the combination of those influences are evident in his works. Whether he is always successful is a matter of debate, especially his venture into the Christian area in his St. Mark Passion.

I find it exceedingly fortunate to be alive observing the development of a talented musician, his search for the right path to follow, originating with Ginastera, past many noted musicians, like Piazzolla, foreign countries and diverse religions.

The DVD has interesting talks by Piazzolla, with samples of some of his works and then three full length performances of his Double Concerto for Guitar, Bandoneon and String Orchestra, the 
Concerto for Bandoneon, String Orchestra and Percussion and his Tango adiós nonino. He also tells the history of the bandoneon. All in all, a not only very entertaining but also valuable instructive video.

uffeviking

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 03:39:55 PM »
from amazon:

Offline Maciek

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 03:57:22 PM »
Lis, thank you for the review! I'll definitely need to check this out. I love Piazzolla!

Maciek

karlhenning

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2007, 07:02:52 AM »
The Concierto para bandoneón y orquesta is a great little piece!

Drasko

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2007, 07:13:28 AM »
The Concierto para bandoneón y orquesta is a great little piece!

Seconded!

For anyone interested in Piazzolla but possibly lost in morass of best offs, live albums, compilations... I believe this is the best entry point:

Tango: Zero Hour

dtwilbanks

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2007, 07:14:55 AM »
Seconded!

For anyone interested in Piazzolla but possibly lost in morass of best offs, live albums, compilations... I believe this is the best entry point:

Tango: Zero Hour


It's the only Piazzolla I own, and I dig it.  8)

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2007, 08:46:28 AM »
Last summer as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival, I heard Gidon Kremer and members of Kremerata Baltica do some elegant and sparkling Piazzolla works, all totally charming.  Many of them were tango-oriented, but with little compositional twists, either in the rhythm or orchestration.

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Offline Maciek

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2007, 09:56:39 AM »
Well, you can buy a couple of CDs or you can go to this site (The Astor Piazzolla Listening Booth).

Actually, I find CDs are indispensable anyway... ;D

Maciek

lukeottevanger

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2007, 10:27:18 AM »
Seconded!

For anyone interested in Piazzolla but possibly lost in morass of best offs, live albums, compilations... I believe this is the best entry point:

Tango: Zero Hour


It is indeed, but you ought to get hold of its two companion albums (recorded at about the same time, with the same producer)  too: The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night and La Comorra (especially this last one, which is probably my favourite of the three). It's worth tracking down his piece for Kronos+himself Four for Tango, too (a CD single release). Of the 'classical' recordings I've heard, Gidon Kremer's Hommage disc is the best.

bwv 1080

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2007, 11:02:56 AM »
Seconded!

For anyone interested in Piazzolla but possibly lost in morass of best offs, live albums, compilations... I believe this is the best entry point:

Tango: Zero Hour


That is the one.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2007, 12:17:18 PM »
Of the 'classical' recordings I've heard, Gidon Kremer's Hommage disc is the best.

And it contains an arrangement of Petersburski's "Ostatnia niedziela" that is a pure masterpiece!

karlhenning

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2007, 05:52:16 AM »
The Opus Arte DVD ("Portrait of," I think) is very enjoyable.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2007, 03:07:28 PM »
Nice live performance of some Piazzolla pieces can be downloaded here.

Offline Ugh!

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2009, 10:30:04 AM »
What do you think of the Tangos of other composers such as Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Antonio Bibalo?
I love Piazzolla, and gave away a 10 cd box for christmas to my tango-dancing woman. Sadly, it did not include the jazz experiments with Gerry Mulligan....

karlhenning

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2009, 10:46:20 AM »
Like all his work IMO, the Stravinsky tangos are delightful, though rather stylized.  (Shostakovich wrote a tango?)

Offline Ugh!

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2009, 02:37:42 AM »
Like all his work IMO, the Stravinsky tangos are delightful, though rather stylized.  (Shostakovich wrote a tango?)

Kozelkov's Dance with Friends from The Bolt (op.27) is a tango... Yes I agree that Stravinsky's tango is at least too stylized to dance to, according to my woman ;)

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2009, 03:32:29 AM »
Unfortunately the recorded live performancies of Piazzolla do have poor sound quality.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page <-- NEW track "Jazzz"

Drasko

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2009, 07:34:43 AM »
Kurt Weill wrote couple nice ones, Die Zuhälterballade (aka Tango-Ballade) from Die Dreigroschenoper being probably best known, but also Youkali-tango:
Ute Lemper
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk6itNYV8i0
Teresa Stratas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlekqucDlU

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2010, 08:57:43 PM »
There is only one page worth of commentary regarding this composer? It's a shame that Latin American composers get the short end of the stick when it comes to these types of discussions. I find a lot of their music colorful and just as interesting as anything that has come out of Europe. People just have to take risks sometimes and not many are willing to do this. They are truly missing out.
 
Anyway, getting back to Piazzolla, I discovered his music many years ago, but had no idea of his merit as a composer/musician or the seriousness of his music until a year ago. One of the most fascinating things about it, for me, especially now, is the attention to rhythm, which is an important part to most Latin American composer's music. Piazzolla, to my ears, is ingenius in the way he uses time signatures and almost a constant foward momentum in the music to get his ideas across. He doesn't stay in spot too long and before you know he's moved onto something else. This is not to say that his music doesn't have its moments of lyricism, because it certainly does, but I always get a sense that Piazzolla loves the thrill of new discovery.
 
I've recently purchased a great disc of some of his orchestral works on Naxos (w/ Giancarlo Guerrero, Nashville Symphony Orch.) and was incredibly impressed with these performances. Anyone interested in this wonderful composer should definitely checkout this new recording.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 09:47:21 PM by Mirror Image »
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karlhenning

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Re: Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2010, 06:45:14 AM »
I've recently purchased a great disc of some of his orchestral works on Naxos (w/ Giancarlo Guerrero, Nashville Symphony Orch.) and was incredibly impressed with these performances. Anyone interested in this wonderful composer should definitely checkout this new recording.

What's the scoring of Las estaciones porteñas on that disc, MI? I love those pieces for strings on the Kremerata Baltica disc, The Eight Seasons.