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The great revelation

Donald Macleod’s exploration of the life and music of Astor Piazzolla moves to Paris, where the tango legend finds his true musical voice.

Donald Macleod’s exploration of the life and music of Astor Piazzolla moves to Paris, where the tango legend finds his true musical voice.

All his life he fought against the tide, and in the end, he was the victor. Born in 1921, Astor Piazzolla was a rebel with a cause. A virtuoso bandoneon player and a composer, he set out to break tango free from its roots, and make it a music with a future far beyond the dance halls and cafes of 1950s Buenos Aires. Hits like “Libertango” and collaborations with jazz giants like Gary Burton and Gerry Mulligan made his name beyond the tango world, while his classical compositions brought his instrument, the bandoneon, and him critical acclaim in the concert hall. The secret of his musical technique came, he said, from his studies with French pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger and Argentinian composer, Alberto Ginastera but there was a third teacher: Buenos Aires, the city which taught him the secrets of tango.

Across the week Donald Macleod traces Astor Piazzolla’s life through five formative locations, New York, Buenos Aires, Paris, Rome and Punta del Este, the coastal resort where he would spend the summer, relaxing and composing.

Piazzolla moved to Paris in 1954 to study with one of the most renowned teachers of the age, Nadia Boulanger. Apart from receiving a through musical training, it was Boulanger’s insight that showed him where his future lay.

Otoño porteño
Richard Galliano, accordion
Jean Marc Phillips-Varjabédian, violin
Lyonel Schmit, second violin
Jean Marc Apap, violin, viola
Raphael Pidoux,, cello
Stéphane Logerot, bass
Hervé Sellin, piano

Two pieces for clarinet and string orchestra, Op.15
Contemplación. Lento-Tranquillo
Danza. Presto
Robert Bianciotto, clarinet
National Chamber Orchestra of Toulouse
Alain Moglia, conductor

Sinfonía Buenos Aires, Op.15
Lento, con anima
Daniel Binelli, bandoneon
Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor

Triunfal
Prepárense
Astor Piazzolla and his Quintet
Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon
Elvino Vardaro, violin
Jaime Gosis, piano
Kicho Diaz, bass
Oscar López Ruiz, electric guitar

Tangos, El Exilio de Gardel (excerpts from the original soundtrack)
Tanguedia I
Tanguedia II
Tanguedia III
Astor Piazzolla and his Quintet
Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon
Pablo Ziegler, piano
Fernando Suarez Paz, violin
Oscar Lopez Ruiz, electric guitar
Hector Console, double bass

Mumuki
Gary Burton, vibraphone
Fernando Suarez-Paz, violin
Marcelo Nisinman, bandoneon
Pablo Ziegler, piano
Horacio Malvicino, guitar
Hector Console, bass

Producer: Johannah Smith, BBC Wales

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Astor Piazzolla

    Otoño porteño

    Performer: Richard Galliano. Performer: Jean-Marc Phillips. Performer: Lyonel Schmit. Performer: Jean Marc Apap. Performer: Raphaël Pidoux. Performer: Stéphane Logerot. Performer: Hervé Sellin.
    • DREYFUS FDM 366422.
    • DREYFUS.
    • 1.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Two pieces for clarinet and string orchestra, Op.15

    Performer: Robert Bianciotto. Conductor: Alain Moglia. Orchestra: National Chamber Orchestra Of Toulouse.
    • Capriccio 10 872.
    • Capriccio.
    • 9.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Sinfonía Buenos Aires, Op 15 (2nd movement)

    Performer: Daniel Binelli. Orchestra: Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero.
    • Naxos 8572271.
    • Naxos.
    • 2.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Triunfal

    Performer: Astor Piazzolla y su Quinteto. Performer: Astor Piazzolla. Performer: Elvino Vardaro. Performer: Jaime Gosis. Performer: Kicho Diaz. Performer: Oscar López Ruiz.
    • RCA VICTOR 82876742602.
    • RCA VICTOR.
    • 1.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Preparense

    Performer: Astor Piazzolla. Performer: Elvino Vardaro. Performer: Jaime Gosis. Performer: Kicho Diaz. Performer: Oscar López Ruiz.
    • RCA VICTOR 82876742602.
    • RCA VICTOR.
    • 9.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Tangos, El Exilio de Gardel (Tanguedias 1-3)

    Performer: Astor Piazzolla. Performer: Pablo Ziegler. Performer: Fernando Suárez Paz. Performer: Oscar López Ruiz. Performer: Héctor Console.
    • Milan 55882.
    • Milan.
    • 7.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Mumuki

    Performer: Gary Burton. Performer: Fernando Suárez Paz. Performer: Marcelo Nisinman. Performer: Pablo Ziegler. Performer: Horacio Malvicino. Performer: Héctor Console.
    • CONCORD COJ 48872.
    • CONCORD.
    • 10.

Broadcast

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