Astor Piazzolla – Six Essential Tangos

Astor Piazzolla was an Argentine tango composer and player of bandoneon (similar to an accordeon). He was born in Argentina in 1921 and died in 1992. Piazzolla’s music includes traditional tangos as well as new style incorporating elements of jazz and classical music. (Wikipedia) . I first heard Piazzolla’s music at a school concert, and this exciting tango music is a lot of fun as well as challenging for high school  music students.

Let me tell you about my favourite Piazzolla compositions.

Libertango

I first heard Piazzolla’s music at a school performance of Libertango played by three girls on piano, violin and cello. I was immediately hooked and got several recordings of Piazzolla’s main works. Here is a recording of Libertango with YoYo Ma playing cello.

Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

Another work I heard performed by another school trio (featuring a friend’s daughter playing piano) is a work titled The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, not surprisingly it is a work in four parts – Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer. Here is a performance of Summer performed by the Sejong Soloists. You can probably hear the influences of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons violin concerto.

Milonga del Angel

A slower work isthe sensual Milonga del angel. I was so moved by this music that I bought the piano music. It is rather challenging for my piano playing ability but it is one of my piano-playing goals for 2012. Here is a recording  from  BBC 1989 with the new tango sextet.

Oblivion

Another superb piece is the haunting Oblivion composed in 1982. This is a very famous Tango and many versions have been recorded. Here is an Australian recording featuring Cathie Travers on accordion.

Resurrecion del Angel

The piano music I bought contains Resurreccion del Angel and La Muerte del Angel. The first piece has a beautiful melody and here is a recording from 1985 with Piazzolla and the New Tango Quintet.

La Muerte del Angel

Here is La Muerte del Angel played by a piano trio. I love the fast lively mood, and I hope you enjoy it too!

More information about Piazzolla can be found a the astor-piazzolla.org web site.

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