Born in 1921
Poverty drove Piazzolla's ancestors to emigrate from their homeland, and the young Astor was born of Italian parentage in Mar dei Plata in Argentina on 11 March 1921. ln 1925 the family moved to New York to try their fortune in the big city. As Astor Piazzolla has said him- self, "It was at the lime of prohibition and the mafia... I hung around the streets more than I went to school... my musical world gradually grew up round jazz, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway who I managed to hear at the door of the Cotton Club, although I was both too young and too poo; to go in. My father used to play the old nostalgic tangos by Carlos Gardel on the gramophone. For my ninth birthday he gave me a bandoneon (button accordion), and I had lessons with a teacher who introduced me to classical music".
ln 1937 the Piazzolla family returned to Mar dei Plata, but Astor was soon attracted more to the capital, and when only sixteen he moved to Buenos Aires, renting a small room as a lodger. He had been engaged as a bandoneon player in the band directed by Anibal Troïlo, himself a specialist on the instrument, and was thus able to pay the rent with his first tees. At the same lime he did not neglect his studies but look lessons in piano and harmony with a young teacher by the name of Alberto Ginastera, who went on to become a renowned composel.
ln 1946 Astor got his own "tipica" band together, playing nothing but tangos. It was the springboard he needed for his own development.. "I played my own arrangements, and started using triple rhythms in what had been a very four-square rhythmic pattern up to then, and experimenting with bold harmonies" His innovations, however, met with little success and the group disbanded. He renewed his studies even more enthusiastically and founded a new string orchestra - which led him right back to failure and bitter disillusionment. Still he persisted ; his hard upbringing in New York had taught him to be stubborn, with an aggressive edge.
The turning point came when Astor travelled to Europe in the 1950s to study conducting with Hermann Scherchen, and met Nadia Boulanger, the famous teacher of composition in Paris. She showed him that his identity was not in intellectual music but in the tango, spiced with a touch of classical style and jazz, and moulded by his own intuitive sense.
Once back in Buenos Aires he formed his first octet in 1955 and, by using what he had learned from Ginastera and Boulanger as well as phrasing borrowed from jazz, he made his tangos swing with new life. As was to be expected this caused quite a stir in the ranks of the consevative tango players, but Piazzolla was not to be deflected from his new course. From now on his tango was a distinctively modern form that he exploited with his new quintet which achieved lame with their "tango nuevo". International recognition was at last his, and concerts and recordings flowed unceasingly. From the 1960s until his death in July 1992, his success never stopped growing.
Tangata - Escualo - Libertango - Concierto para quinteto - Adios Nonino - Verano Porteno - Mumuki - Michelangelo 70 - La Muerte del Angel - Soledad
aeon AECD 0424 - Quatuor Caliente, Guillaume Hodeau, bandonéon - Cédric Lorel, piano - Michel Berrier, violon - Nicolas Marty, contrebasse - Musicien invité : Vincent Maillard, vibraphone
Astor Piazzolla (1997)
Tres preludios para piano (Leijia's game - Flora's game - Sunny's game), Le Grand Tango, Tango-Etudes for Solo Flute (n°1 Decide - n°2 Anxieux et rubato - n°3 Molto marcato e energico - n°4 Lento meditativo - n°5 Sans indication - n°6 Avec anxiete)
Mandala MAN 4916 - Dominique Lumet, piano - Pierre Champagne, cello - Loic Poulain, flute
"Hommage a Liege" Concierto para Bandoneon y Guitarra - Historia del Tango (1989)
Concerto pour Guitare et Bandonéon (Introduction - Milonga - Tango), Histoire du Tango (Bordel 1900 - Cafe 1930 - Night Club 1960 - Concert d'Aujourd'hui)
Music Hall MH 10.020-2 - Liege Philarmonic Orchestra, Leo Brouwer (conducto) - Astor Piazzolla, bandonion - Cacho Tirao, guitar (Concerto) - Guy Lukowski, guitar (Histoire) - Marc Grawels, flute
Las Musicas de Astor Piazzolla - The Spirit of Buenos Aires (1996)
Libertango, Ciudades (Piazzolla/Ferrer), Fuga y Misterio, Violentango, Cinco Piezas (Campero - Romantico - Acentuado - Triston - Compadre), Adios Nonino, Verano Porteno, Balada para mi muerte (Piazzolla/Ferrer), Contratiempo, Histoire du Tango (Bordel 1900 - Cafe 1930 - Night Club 1960 - Concert d'aujourd'hui).
Mandala MAN 4891 - Luis Rizzo - Valeria Munarriz - Roberto Aussel - Andre Valade - Cuarteto Martinez Zarate
Cinco Piezas (Acentuado - Campero - Compadre - Romantico - Triston), Tango-Etudes for Solo Flute (n°1 Decide - n°2 Anxieux et rubato - n°3 Molto marcato e energico - n°4 Lento meditativo - n°5 Sans indication - n°6 Avec anxiete), Histoire du Tango (Bordel 1900 - Cafe 1930 - Night Club 1960 - Concert d'Aujourd'hui).
Naxos 8.554760 - Irmgard Toepper, flute - Hugo German Gaido, guitar)
Piazzolla InTime, Vol. 2 - Chin Chin (1997)
Escualo, Revirado, Lo que vendra, Otono Porteno, Soledad, Concierto para quinteto, Decarissimo, Caliente, Primavera Portena, Chin chin.
Alba Records ABCD 119 - InTime Quintet (Markku Lindeman, accordion - Henrik Perello, violin - Jari Salmela, piano - Jorma Salmela, guitar - Hannu Siiskonen, bass
Piazzolla interpreta a Piazzolla (1960, reprint in 1995)
Adios Nonino, Berretin (Laurenz), Contrabajeando (Piazzolla/Troilo), Tanguisimo, Decarissimo, Lo que vendra, La calle 92, Calambre, Los poseidos, Nonino, Bando, Guitarrazo (Malvicino), Volver (Gardel/Le Pera), El motivo (Cobian/Contursi).
RCA/BMG ECD 1030 - Astor Piazzolla, bandonion - Simon Bajour, violin - Jaime Gosis, piano - Horacio Malvicino, guitar - Kicho Diaz, bass - Anibal Troilo, bandonion (13-14)
Histoire du Tango (Bordel 1900 - Cafe 1930 - Night Club 1960 - Concert d'Aujourd'hui), Chau Paris, Muerte del Angel, Five Tango Sensations : Asleep, Fuga y misterio, Poema valseado, Libertango, Adios Nonino.
Ars Duo - Gerardo Cilveti, violin - Jose Miguel Coo, guitar
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