(1921 – 1992)
I. Bordel – 1900
III. Nightclub 1960
IV. Concert d’aujourd’hui
(1882 – 1948)
I. Prelude. Allegro
II. Canon. Allegro moderato
III. Air. Andantino
IV. Fughetta. Moderato
Histoire du Tango
Piazzolla took Nadia’s advice to heart. It became his passion to bring the tango, which began as a seductive partner dance in the brothels and dance halls of Argentina, to the world’s concert halls. In 1985, he wrote The History of the Tango to capture its evolution during the 100 years since its beginning. To accompany the music, he left us with a program note for each of the four movements, notes that need no further explanation:
Bordello, 1900: The tango originated in Buenos Aires in 1882. It was first played on the guitar and flute. Arrangements then came to include the piano, and later, the concertina. This music is full of grace and liveliness. It paints a picture of the good-natured chatter of the French, Italian, and Spanish women who peopled those bordellos as they teased the policemen, thieves, sailors, and riffraff who came to see them. This is a high-spirited tango.
Cafe, 1930: This is another age of the tango. People stopped dancing it as they did in 1900, preferring instead simply to listen to it. It became more musical and more romantic. This tango has undergone total transformation: the movements are slower, with new and often melancholy harmonies. Tango orchestras came to consist of two violins, two concertinas, a piano, and a bass. The tango is sometimes sung as well.
Night Club, 1960: This is a time of rapidly expanding international exchange, and the tango evolves again as Brazil and Argentina come together in Buenos Aires. The bossa nova and the new tango are moving to the same beat. Audiences rush to the nightclubs to listen earnestly to the new tango. This marks a revolution and a profound alteration in some of the original tango forms.
Modern-Day Concert: Certain concepts in tango music become intertwined with modern music. Bartók, Stravinsky, and other composers reminisce to the tune of tango music. This is today's tango, and the tango of the future as well.
Petite suite dans le style ancien
Much of Ponce’s music derives its inspiration from Mexican folklore and folk music. He also wrote significant classical guitar pieces for his friend Andrés Segovia. The Petite Suite’s roots, however, come from his time in Paris where he fell under the sway of Igor Stravinsky – but not the revolutionary pre-WWI Rite of Spring Stravinsky, the post-war neoclassical Stravinsky who returned in 1920 to traditional forms from earlier styles, especially baroque forms from the 18th century. Ponce’s engaging Petite Suite for string trio “in the old style” harkens back to the contrapuntal and rhythmic practices of Johann Sebastian Bach. It begins with a fantasia-like sunny prelude. The second movement is a canon with all voices imitating each other. The third is a lyrical air; and the fourth a zestful fughetta, or “little fugue”. Fascinating. All roads seem to lead to Bach, even from Mexico.
WRITTEN BY THE HONORABLE STEPHEN S. TROTT
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