Astor Piazzolla was the head of the Tango Nuevo movement during the time that he was writing Adios Nonino in 1959. Piazzolla was entirely of Italian decent, with two very Italian parents. His daughter gave them traditional Italian names for grandma and grandpa, Nonino and Nonina. One of the things that Piazzolla was involved in during the time was the music direction of a dance team called the Juan Carlos Copes, who travelled to Puerto Rico in 1959. On the last night of their trip to San Juan, Piazzolla received a telegram saying his father had fallen off of his motorcycle and was in critical condition. Piazzolla discovered the next day that his father had died the next day at noon. One he was back home, he asked everyone to be left alone for a while. No one ever heard him cry, but his wife heard him sigh while writing a bright and happy tune. It was then that Astor Piazzolla’s Adios Nonino was born.
Adios Nonino became one of the most popular pieces that Piazzolla had ever written. He declared later that he was “Surrounded by angels”, and that “He probably could do not it again, this being the finest tune he’s ever written”. Piazzolla tweaked and redid his Adios Nonino and rewrote at least twenty more arrangements of the same tango. After the death of his father, he was inspired to go back to Argentina and write more authentic music with his American experiences. Lacking the money for the travel, he sent Adios Nonino to his publisher. His publisher was ecstatic, calling it the crown jewel of tangos. Piazzolla then made his way to Argentina.
Astor Piazzolla’s Adios Nonino had no words, and Piazzolla intended to keep it that way. In 1980, Eladia Blasquez presented Piazzolla with a tape and some lyrics to the song. He refused to listen, but when she sang it for him, he agreed to the song. Adios Nonino is a beautiful song, that sounds almost dark and haunting. The song picks up and becomes a slightly lighter tune, but dark cellos lurk in the back ground of the whole song. It becomes quiet near the middle, and turns much more into a softer and more elegant song. Astor Piazzolla’s Adios Nonino is a beautiful and tragic tale, and remains one of his most popular arrangements.
Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion was composed in 1982 as a chamber ensemble. This piece was one of Astor Piazzolla’s most famous Tangos, and it became mostly popular when it was released on the soundtrack of Marco Bellochio’s film Henry IV, the Mad King. Oblivion has been recorded in many different versions, including being rewritten for the klezmer clarinet, saxophone quartet, oboe, and orchestra. It starts out with violins and cellos, and is a beautiful, haunting piece that speaks of tragedy and love. It’s one of the most famous Tango work ever done by Astor Piazzolla, and remains one of his best.
The string section enters instantly, with a subtle, arpeggiated accompaniment, and the melody is extremely melancholic and almost depressing. With long notes and beautiful, alternating notes and elegant figures, Oblivion is a song that spins a sad tale of love and woe. It is a beautiful piece, very elegant in structure, and sounds like a sad song. Half way through the song, the melodies change a little, with a contrasting theme, not as intense as the previous notes and melodies though. Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion is one of the tangos that he wrote with almost no jazz or rock influence, like most other of his pieces from that time. It is a piece that is very true to the original Tango, and Piazzolla keeps it at its roots. It has a bit of harmonic sophistication and elegance, and it sings a beautiful song of Tango and emotion.
Oblivion was widely popular, and is one of the pieces that Astor Piazzolla is most known for. It’s a wonderful Tango that inspires many people, and is full of strong emotion and beautiful melodies. It’s the elegance and inspiration all wrapped up into beautiful movements. Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion is a Tango that is strictly for the stage, and it remains a beautiful, almost sacred Tango piece because of the reserve that one must take when playing it. Oblivion is beautiful, elegant, and terribly sad, and remains one of the most haunting work of Piazzolla.
Astor Piazzolla may be most famous for moving the Tango from the dance floor to the stage. He stretched the classical harmonies and counterpoints and blended it into contemporary life and related it to modern dance. Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango was produced in 1974, after his European agent pressured him to write more “airplay-friendly” pieces. Libertango was produced during a musical period in Piazzolla’s life where he was working with the electric Conjunto 9. His work had a more commercial, rock and jazz influenced sound, versus the traditional Tango. But Libertango was a piece that was a blend of two different worlds, and when his music changed to a more intimate and earlier sound, Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango survived the transition.
Libertango translates from the Spanish ‘Liberty’, and Tango. This piece is a major step in Piazzolla’s life, representing the break from Classical Tango to Tango Nuevo. Libertango most represents this iconic change in Piazzolla’s music. It has been redone throughout the years, in Grace Jone’s song ‘I’ve Seen That Face Before’, in Jazz Madolin’s song, ‘Jungle Tango’, and in Guy Marchand’s song ‘Moi Je Suis Tango’. Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango is a blend of traditional sounds from Argentina Tango with new and exciting elements from the evolving world of Tango. His exciting piece features blends of old and new elements of music, melodic melodies, and exciting instruments.
Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango begins with a fast and rapid piano solo with an acoustic and electric bass support. Piazzolla’s bandoneon comes into play and remains heard throughout the entire song. Libertango is a harsh, faster song that survives the different styles of Tango. Libertango was widely accepted in Europe, and was one of his most popular Tangos. This piece was popular amongst almost everyone in Europe, not just other composers or fans of Tango. Libertango is not smooth enough for dance, and it is too frantic to be a successful song, however it is one of the best, most pure concert tangos. Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango is several things, propelling, provoking, dynamic, and relentless. Astor Piazzolla remains one of the greatest Tango composers of all time, with the way he moved from style to style effortlessly. Libertango became a sign of the Tango of Liberty, and remains a successful piece of concert Tango.
Astor Piazzolla’s Milonga del angel is a track that is adored by many. Astor Piazzolla named this song after the title of his 1993 album which carries the same title. The Milonga is a type of music that immediately precedes the tango music and the tango dance. Therefore, many references to milonga often refers to a type of dance similar to the tango but is executed more softly than the original tango. To accompany this lighter form of dance, the Milonga often starts slow and sentimental to reflect how soft the feeling and emotions should be. The Milonga del angel was meant to attract a large American following. Therefore, Astor Piazzolla wanted to compose the music building upon the most recognizable aspects in music by many Americans.
The album’s stealthy style is no different than the sensual music that is often produced by the famous Milonga. The Milonga del angel is just as complex as beautiful as the original Milonga. There are many elements that make up this beautiful arrangement. Some of these elements that invoke the emotions sought out by the composer includes: strummed bass chords, violin lines, piano chords, a bandoneon and an electric bass. With all of the elements working harmoniously together, there are times where it may seem as if the listener is in a small Jazz pub. Astor Piazzolla purposely composed the music to invoke this exact feeling. Not only did Piazzolla record this music to reflect hints of Jazz, he loved Jazz so much that the entire record had small underlining hints of Jazz.
In addition to producing a surprise at every corner, this album leaves the listener wanting more and expecting the unexpected. It also forces the listener to pay attention to the charming story his music tells. The music seems to take a life on its own and floats the listener away to a fantasy place which noone has ever seen before. There is no wonder why Astor Piazzolla’s Milonga del angel was dubbed the best recording he has ever done in his entire life by the large following of Astor Piazzolla and the late Astor Piazzolla himself. After his death, this record shortly became one of the most recognized and top selling Nuevo Tango albums ever made.
Living in Argentina, Vicente Nonino Piazzolla and Asuta Manetti (both of Italian descent) welcomed their son Astor Piazzolla into this world in the year of 1921. While he was born in Argentina, Astor spent most of his early years of life in New York City. This is where his love of music began to bloom. Enjoying Jazz and the music of J.S. Bach, his love and knowledge of this art became his passion. His father found a bandoneon in a New York pawnshop and purchased it for his young son. This seemed to be one of the most significant steps in molding the musician that Astor Piazzolla became. In addition to his music, he also excelled in multiple languages including French, English, Italian and Spanish.
Returning to Argentina in 1937, he found tango to be the reigning style of music. Continuing his love of playing the bandoneon, he and his various ensembles performed in a multitude of nightclubs throughout Argentina. Quickly becoming known as the best bandoneon player in Buenos Aires, Astor Piazzolla expanded his musical knowledge by studying under Alberto Ginastera. Covering a number of composers like Stravinsky, Bartok and Ravel, he began to take from their excellence when composing his own music. That was until he met Nadia Boulanger. She quickly noticed his own magic and encouraged him to focus on his own style and talent leaving the others to theirs. In 1955, he organized the Octeto Buenos Aires and began playing his own style of tango.
Astor Piazzolla is well known in the music world for his contributions to the tango. He took elements from jazz and classical music, added them to tango and created Nuevo tango. As an accomplished composer and bandoneon player, he commonly performed his compositions adding electronic and acoustic sounds creating his unique form of music. While this new form of the tango was widely accepted in the United States and Europe, Argentina in general showed resistance to this change. Among some of his most notable pieces are Adios Nonino (written in 1959 in memory of his father), Libertango (written in 1974 symbolizing his liberation from the traditional tango), Oblivion as well as Milonga Del Angel. In 1990 he suffered a thrombotic event that eventually led to his death in Buenos Aires in 1992.