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Histoire du Tango

Astor Piazzolla (b. 1921 - d. 1992)

Composer
Astor Piazzolla (b. 1921 - d. 1992)
Composition Year
1991
Work Movements
1. Bordel 1900
2. Café 1930
3. Nightclub 1960
4. Concert d
Artists
Ji Hye Jung [marimba], Fiona Kelly [flute]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

Piazzolla is famous for his reinvention of the tango, the Argentinian national dance. Despite being born in Argentina, he spent most of his childhood in New York returning to Buenos Aires in 1937. His father had taught him the bandoneon, which is the staple instrument of tango ensembles, enabling him to play with some of the leading bands in Buenos Aires. On the recommendation of Arthur Rubinstein he began to study composition with Alberto Ginastera and, in 1953, he got a scholarship to study with the legendary Nadia Boulanger, who convinced him to concentrate on the tango instead of trying to compose in the style of Bartók, Stravinsky and Ravel. His nuevo tango met with resistance on his return to Argentina, but his international career blossomed.

Throughout musical history composers borrow dance forms and then transform them, so in that sense Piazzolla was doing nothing new. Histoire du tango was originally written for flute and guitar, but has been played in many guises. It traces the changes in the playing of the tango in 30-year jumps, from its sexually provocative beginnings in the bordellos to its marginally more polite style in the Thirties Café culture. The last two movements pick up on Piazzolla’s own contribution with his nuevo tango before the final transition to respectability with his brand of classical concert performance from the 1980s.

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Histoire du Tango

Composer: Astor Piazzolla (b. 1921 - d. 1992)
Performance date: Wednesday 4th July 2012
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Astor Piazzolla (b. 1921 - d. 1992)
Work Title Histoire du Tango
Composition Year 1991
Work Movements 1. Bordel 1900
2. Café 1930
3. Nightclub 1960
4. Concert d
Artist(s) Ji Hye Jung [marimba], Fiona Kelly [flute]
Performance Date Wednesday 4th July 2012
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Late Night Concert
Duration 00:01:51
Recording Engineer Anton Timoney, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation fl, mar
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys
Piazzolla is famous for his reinvention of the tango, the Argentinian national dance. Despite being born in Argentina, he spent most of his childhood in New York returning to Buenos Aires in 1937. His father had taught him the bandoneon, which is the staple instrument of tango ensembles, enabling him to play with some of the leading bands in Buenos Aires. On the recommendation of Arthur Rubinstein he began to study composition with Alberto Ginastera and, in 1953, he got a scholarship to study with the legendary Nadia Boulanger, who convinced him to concentrate on the tango instead of trying to compose in the style of Bartók, Stravinsky and Ravel. His nuevo tango met with resistance on his return to Argentina, but his international career blossomed.

Throughout musical history composers borrow dance forms and then transform them, so in that sense Piazzolla was doing nothing new. Histoire du tango was originally written for flute and guitar, but has been played in many guises. It traces the changes in the playing of the tango in 30-year jumps, from its sexually provocative beginnings in the bordellos to its marginally more polite style in the Thirties Café culture. The last two movements pick up on Piazzolla’s own contribution with his nuevo tango before the final transition to respectability with his brand of classical concert performance from the 1980s.