Astor Piazzolla
Published March 22, 2019
64 min
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    Donald Macleod explores the life and music of the bandoneon virtuoso and composer Astor Piazzolla, through five key locations. 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 the places which played an important part in his musical development: New York, Buenos Aires, Paris, Rome and the Uraguayan resort of Punta del Este. Music featured: Tanguedia Tres minutos con la Realidad Piano sonata No 1, Op 7 Sideral Requiem para un Malandra Adios nonino Concierto para quinteto Buenos Aires hora cera (Buenos Aires zero hour) El desbande Tiernamente El recodo Histoire du Tango for flute and guitar Balada para mi muerte Sinfonía Buenos Aires, Op 15 Otoño porteño Two pieces for clarinet and string orchestra Triunfal Prepárense Tangos, El Exilio de Gardel (excerpts from the original soundtrack) Mumuki Michelangelo 70 Amelitango Maria de Buenos Aires (excerpt) Summit Close your eyes and listen 3 Movimientos Tanguisticos Portenos Tristezas de un Doble A Jeanne y Paul Resurreccion del Angel Concerto for bandoneon, string orchestra & percussion Le Grand Tango La Camorra II Five Tango Sensations Libertango Presented by Donald Macleod Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Wales For full tracklistings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Astor Piazzolla And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here:
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