Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Paradise at last

Donald Macleod explores the significance of tango legend Astor Piazzolla’s summer retreat, a source of inspiration and a bolthole for a weary world traveller.

Donald Macleod explores the significance of tango legend Astor Piazzolla’s summer retreat, a spot which proved to be both a source of inspiration and a bolthole for a world weary traveller.

All his life he fought against the tide, and in the end, he was the victor. 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 critical acclaim in the concert hall. The secrets of musical technique came, he said, from his studies with French pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger and Argentinian composer, Alberto Ginastera but they also came from his teenage experiences in Buenos Aires, the city where had played bandoneon and arranged music for Anibal Troilo’s famous tango band.

Across the week Donald Macleod traces Astor Piazzolla’s life through five formative locations, New York, Buenos Aires, Paris, Rome and Punta del Este, all of which played an important part in shaping his music.

Bringing tango to an ever widening and appreciative audience, the constant touring began to take its toll on Piazzolla. The Uraguayan coastal resort of Punta del Este became the place where, in later years, he discovered he could compose and enjoy the fruits of this hard earned success.

Jeanne y Paul
Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon
Antonio Agri, violin
Hugo Baralis, violin
Néstor Panik, viola
José Bragato, cello
Enrique “Kicho” Díaz, bass
Oscar López Ruiz, electric guitar
Osvaldo Tarantino, piano
José Correale, drums, percussion

Resurreccion del Angel
Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble
Isabelle van Keulen violin
Christian Gerber bandoneon
Ulrike Payer piano
Rüdiger Ludwig double bass

Concerto for Bandoneon, String Orchestra & Percussion
First movement: Allegro marcato
Daniel Binelli, bandoneon
Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor

Le Grand Tango
Alban Gerhardt, cello
Rina Dokshinsky, piano

La Camorra II
Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon
Fernando Suarez Paz, violin
Pablo Ziegler, piano
Horacio Malvicino, guitar
Hector Console, bass

Five Tango Sensations
Asleep
Kronos Quartet
Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon

Libertango
Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon
Pablo Ziegler, piano
Fernando Suarez Paz, violin
Oscar Lopez Ruiz, guitar
Hector Console, bass

Producer: Johannah Smith, BBC Wales

59 minutes

Last on

Fri 22 Mar 2019 12:00

Music Played

  • Astor Piazzolla

    Jeanne y Paul

    Performer: Astor Piazzolla. Ensemble: Conjunto 9.
    • Bella Musica BMCD317032.
    • Bella Musica.
    • 1.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Resurreccion del Angel

    Performer: Isabelle van Keulen Ensemble. Performer: Isabelle van Keulen. Performer: Christian Gerber. Performer: Ulrike Payer. Performer: Rüdiger Ludwig.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Concerto for bandoneon, string orchestra and percussion

    Performer: Daniel Binelli. Orchestra: Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero.
    • Naxos 8572271.
    • Naxos.
    • 4.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Le Grand Tango

    Performer: Alban Gerhardt. Performer: Rina Dokshinsky.
    • EMI 5 73164-2.
    • EMI.
    • 1.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    La Camorra II

    Performer: Astor Piazzolla. Performer: Pablo Ziegler. Performer: Horacio Malvicino. Performer: Fernando Suárez Paz. Singer: Héctor Console.
    • Clave 1021.
    • Clave.
    • 3.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    5 Tango Sensations (I. Asleep)

    Performer: Astor Piazzolla. Ensemble: Kronos Quartet.
    • Elektra Nonesuch 7559792542.
    • Elektra Nonesuch.
    • 1.
  • Astor Piazzolla

    Libertango

    Performer: Astor Piazzolla. Performer: Pablo Ziegler. Performer: Fernando Suárez Paz. Performer: Oscar López Ruiz. Performer: Héctor Console.
    • ALFA AF CD 5-6.
    • ALFA AF CD 5-6.
    • 5.

Broadcast

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.