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Astor Piazzolla: Tango Assassin

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 117 min
Event Type: Music Program Origin: KPFA

From a program recorded in 1989, Charles Amirkhanian interviews two Bay Area musicians who are very familiar with the work of the remarkable composer and bandoneon player, Astor Piazzolla. Marta Bracchi-LeRoux, is a pianist, and native of Montevideo, Uruguay, one of the birthplaces of the tango, and where she was acquainted as a young musician with Piazzolla and his work, even before he began to compose his nuevo tangos. She and her husband, the French conductor and oboe player, Jean-Louis LeRoux, are now known for founding the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and for their tireless promotion of avant-garde composers. But in the early 1950s, they participated in the world premiere of Piazzolla’s “Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra” in Montevideo where Piazzolla and other Buenos Aires residents frequently traveled for performances as well as occasional vacations. Marta and Jean-Louis present four decades of recordings of Piazzolla, answer questions on the history of the tango, as well as presenting some early tango masterpieces by Carlos Gardel. We also hear about, “El Libro del Tango,” a three-volume set of books by Piazzolla lyricist Horacio Ferrer. Piazzolla, studied classical composition with Nadia Boulanger until she heard him play the bandoneon, at which point she urged him to dedicate himself to the instrument, and he subsequently went on to revolutionize the tango form, and has seen his popularity grow exponentially ever since. After listening to this marvelous and heartfelt program you will most likely join the millions of others who have given their thanks that Piazzolla took Boulanger’s advise.

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  [unidentified jazz music, excerpt] (2:14) -- [unidentified tango, excerpt] (1:36) -- Libertango (3:50) / Astor Piazzolla -- Lo Que Vendra (3:20) / Astor Piazzolla -- Buenos Aires (ca. 1923) (3:09) / Carlos Gardel -- Adios Muchachos (2:27) / Carlos Gardel -- Arrabal Amargo (2:30 / Carlos Gardel -- Balada Para Un Loco [text by Horacio Ferrer] (4:33) / Astor Piazzolla -- Verano del '79 (6:30) / Astor Piazzolla
Performers:  Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon (Libertango ; Lo Que ; Verano)
Pablo Ziegler, piano (Libertango)
Fernando Suárez Paz, violin (Libertango)
Oscar López Ruiz, guitar (Libertango)
Héctor Console, bass (Libertango)
Elvino Vardaro, violin (Lo Que)
Jaime Gosis, piano (Lo Que)
José Bragato, cello (Lo Que)
Juan Vasallo, bass (Lo Que)
Carlos Gardel, voice & guitar (Buenos ; Adios ; Arrabal)
Amelita Baltar, voice (Balada)
Genre:  World Music
Subject:  Piazzolla, Astor; World music; Music -- Argentina; Tangos; Popular instrumental music -- Argentina; Quintets (Bandoneon, piano, guitar, violin, double bass); Bandoneon with instrumental ensemble; Bandoneon with string orchestra; Songs with instrumental ensemble; Songs with guitar
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles ; Piazzolla, Astor; Gardel, Carlos, 1890-1935 ; Ferrer, Horacio Arturo, 1933-; Bracchi-LeRoux, Marta ; Ziegler, Pablo; Suárez Paz, Fernando; López Ruiz, Oscar, 1938- ; Console, Héctor ; Vardaro, Elvino ; Gosis, Jaime ; Bragato, José ; Vasallo, José; Vasallo, Juan
Recording Date:  5/4/1989
First Broadcast Date:  5/4/1989
 
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Concierto, for bandoneón [1st movement] (7:00) / Astor Piazzolla -- Adios Nonino (7:57) / Astor Piazzolla
Performers:  Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon (all)
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (Concierto)
Lalo Schifrin, conductor (Concierto)
Dante Amicarelli, piano (Adios)
Genre:  World Music
Subject:  Piazzolla, Astor; World music; Music -- Argentina; Concertos (Bandoneon); Tangos; Quintets (Bandoneon, piano, guitar, violin, double bass)
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles ; Piazzolla, Astor; LeRoux, Jean-Louis, 1927-; Bracchi-LeRoux, Marta ; Schifrin, Lalo ; Amicarelli, Dante
Recording Date:  5/4/1989
First Broadcast Date:  5/4/1989
 
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