Tango Argentino

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Tango Argentino

The tango is essentially associated with Buenos Aires andits racial and cultural amalgam. It is derived from the cross-culturalinfluences of the Spanish, native Indians and Negroes, colonists, indigenousinhabitants and slaves. The first of these influences was the candombe heard inthe first quarter of the nineteenth century among the portenos of Concepcion,San Telmo and Monserrat, the so-called 'districts  of the drum'. Then, in the second half of the nineteenthcentury, the habanera, of Spanish origin, came to the Argentines from Cuba withthe boats that sailed to Buenos Aires for cargos of salted beef. This and theAndalusian fandango were taken up by the criollos, who made various variousrhythmic modifications which in turn led to the milonga, inspired by thecandombe, adapted by the criollos, bringing together African feeling and thespirit of the people of the River Plate districts.

While in the ball-rooms of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, peopledanced European polkas and mazurkas, in the slums there was a native sensualityin the milonga. From the ranches came payadores, gaucho singers, with theirmelodies, and the tango would first have been seen on the dirt patios of thepulperia (saloons). The sung verses began to have their own style and themesand from these and the milongas came the new music that would be called thetango, bringing together the gaucho and the candombe of the blacks. A futherinfluence was that of the Italian immigrants, with their own feeings ofnostalgia.

Eladia Blazquez, poet and singer, and a leading authority onthe modern tango, was born in 1927. Her Sueno de barrilete (Kite-flying dream)was written in 1957. During the long spring evenings in Buenos Aires, walkingthrough her neighbourhood, she came across some children absorbed in flying akite, with its trail of coloured strips of cloth, watching it with hope. To herthe kite seemed to symbolize the daily life and dreams of the city.

The composer and guitarist Carlos Moscardini was born inBuenos Aires in 1959, and for many years has collaborated with importantartists in Argentinean folk-music. He won the Primer Certamen Libre de la NuevaM??sica Popular de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, has made recordings for sologuitar and has played in the most important cities of Argentina, and also inChile, Canada, Spain, Scandinavia and Germany, collaborating in some fiftyconcerts in Japan. Milonga de un entrevero (Milonga of confusion) refers in itstitle to the typical milonga and to the early twentieth-century entreveros,knife-fights between men settling some affair of honour. In A los tilingos healludes ironically to the tilingos of Buenos Aires in a candombe-milonga,typical in rhythm of the folk-music of the River Plate region.

Astor Piazzolla was born in 1921 and as a child moved withhis family to the United States, settling in Greenwich Village. His father gavehim a bandoneon and he studied the piano and classical music in Manhattan,developing an interest in both classical music and in the tango, with which heincorporated unusual elements of harmony, fugue and counterpoint. He holds aunique position in the history of the tango. Astor Piazolla died in 1992.

Carlos Gardel was born in 1887 and became internationallyidentified with the tango, which he made fashionable abroad in the 1920s. Hecreated in it more than a dance but a synthesis of cultural significance, whilehimself providing an example of success that suggested similar ambitions tomany others from a similarly impoverished background. He was equally famous forhis appearances in films. The present recording includes two of his best knowncompositions, El dia que me quieras (The day you love me) and Volver (Comingback). Gardel died in 1935.

Mariano Mores was born in Buenos Aires in 1922 and began hiscareer as a pianist with Francisco Canara, one of the fathers of the tangoorchestra. At the end of the 1940s he formed his own tango orchestra,introducing new instruments, including the organ and the electric guitar. Hehas written many film scores and is among the most successful composers inArgentinian popular music.

Born in 1928, Julian Plaza is well-known as a player of thebandoneon and as a pianist. He spent nine years, from 1959, in OsvaldoPugliese's orchestra, one of the best known in Argentina, travelling on concerttours to the former Soviet Union, China and Japan. In 1968 he founded theSexteto Tango.

Anibal Carmelo Troilo, known as 'Pichuco', the BandoneonMayor de Buenos Aires, was born in 1914 in the traditional quarter of El Abastoand was recruited as a boy by Juan Maglio 'Pacho', conductor of one of thefirst tango orchestras in Buenos Aires, to play the bandoneon. Thereafter heplayed in various orchestras until 1937, when he established his own ensemble.He exercised a strong influence on the development of the tango. Sur (South),one of some sixty compositions and written in 1948, presents a picture of atraditional corner of one of the quarters of the city. Troilo died in 1975.

Sa??l Cosentino made his first recording of avant-gardetangos composed and arranged by him in 1983. Other recordings followed, and in1990 he won first prize in the Carlos Gardel Competition. Other recordings,publications and awards have followed, and a series of compositions that hasincluded a guitar concerto and a prize-winning suite for harp and strings. In1995 he wrote his slow milonga La Recoleta, for which Horacio Ferrer laterprovided words. It depicts the neighbourhood of the title, where Ferrer haslived for many years.

Pedro Laurenz (his true name was Pedro Blanco) was born intoa musical family in the La Boca neighbourhood of Buenos Aires in 1902, latermoving to Uruguay, where he was attracted to the bandoneon. He made his debutin Buenos Aires at the age of twenty, playing with Julio De Caro's orchestra,in duet with Pedro Mafia known as Los dos Pedritos. He formed his own orchestrain 1934 at the bar Los treinta y seis billares, the start of 25 years ofperformance and a series of compositions of deep melancholy.

Born in 1960, the composer and pianist Lito Vitale belongsto a new generation of Argentinian composers who have been able to combinejazz, folk-music and the tango. He is well-known for his daily televisionprogramme Ese amigo del alma. His Milonga del 71, included here, is arrangedfor guitar by Victor Villadangos from the original version for piano, flute andguitar. The title refers not to any year but to the bus route No.71. Themilonga was written during the course of a journey through the suburbs ofBuenos Aires.

Victor Villadangos

Disc: 1
71 Milonga
1 Kite-flying Dream
2 Milonga of Confusion
3 The Last Woman
4 Libertango
5 The Day You Love Me
6 Coming Back
7 Military Tap
8 Melancholic
9 Nostalgic
10 South
11 For the tilingos
12 Farewell Nonino
13 Midnight in Buenos Aires
14 Jacinto Chiclana
15 Triumphal
16 La Recoleta
17 Milonga of My Loves
18 71 Milonga
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