Archive for March, 2011

An extraordinary artist…Astor Piazzolla

On March 11th, 1921 was born one of the biggest composers and musicians of the last century, Astor Piazzola.

Born in Mar del Plata, Argentina to Italian parents, Vicente Nonino Piazzolla and Asunta Manetti, he spent most of his childhood with his family in New York City, where he was exposed to both jazz and the music of J. S. Bach at an early age.

He began to play the bandoneon after his father, nostalgic for his homeland, spotted one in a New York pawn shop. At the age of 13, he met Carlos Gardel, another great figure of tango, who invited the young prodigy to join him on his current tour. Much to his dismay, Piazzolla’s father deemed that he was not old enough to go along. While he did play a young paper boy in Gardel’s movie El día que me quieras, this early disappointment of being kept from the tour proved to be a blessing in disguise, as it was on this tour that Gardel and his entire band perished in a plane crash. In later years, Piazzolla made light of this near miss, joking that had his father not been so careful, he wouldn’t be playing the bandoneon—he’d be playing the harp.

He returned to Argentina in 1937, where strictly traditional tango still reigned, and played in night clubs with a series of groups including the orchestra of Anibal Troilo, then considered the top bandoneon player and bandleader in Buenos Aires.
The pianist Arthur Rubinstein, then living in Buenos Aires, advised him to study with the Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera.
Delving into scores of Stravinsky, Bartók, Ravel, and others, he rose early each morning to hear the Teatro Colón orchestra rehearse while continuing a gruelling performing schedule in the tango clubs at night. In 1950 he composed the soundtrack to the film Bólidos de acero.

At Ginastera’s urging, in 1953 Piazzolla entered his Buenos Aires Symphony in a composition contest, and won a grant from the French government to study in Paris with the legendary French composition teacher Nadia Boulanger.

In 1954 he and his first wife, the artist Dedé Wolff, left Buenos Aires and travelled to Paris. Piazzolla returned from New York to Argentina in 1955, formed the Octeto Buenos Aires with Enrico Mario Francini and Hugo Baralis on violins, Atilio Stampone on piano, Leopoldo Federico as second bandoneon, Horacio Malvicino on electric guitar, José Bragato on cello and Juan Vasallo on double bass to play tangos, and never looked back.
Upon introducing his new approach to the tango (nuevo tango), he became a controversial figure among Argentines both musically and politically. The Argentine saying “in Argentina everything may change — except the tango” suggests some of the resistance he found in his native land. However, his music gained acceptance in Europe and North America, and his reworking of the tango was embraced by some liberal segments of Argentine society, who were pushing for political changes in parallel to his musical revolution.
During the period of Argentine military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, Piazzolla lived in Italy, but returned many times to Argentina, recorded there, and on at least one occasion had lunch with the dictator Jorge Rafael Videla. In 1990 he suffered thrombosis in Paris, and died two years later in Buenos Aires.

You can listen to this extraordinary composer and musician, into the concert:

Enrico Dindo & Monica Cattarossi plays Astor Piazzola
go to the concert

You can also listen to Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Prelude pour piano performed by the renowned japanese pianist Aki Kuroda, into the concert:

Aki Kuroda in concert
go to the concert


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Limenmusic hosts Divertimento Ensemble

Today the pianist Maria Grazia Bellocchio will record a track from the second concert, which took place on February 23, 2011 at Palazzina Liberty in Milano: Mauricio Kagel – Cuatro piezas para piano.

The flautist Lorenzo Missaglia will record another tracks from the same concert: Bruno Maderna – Suonata su due dimensioni and Yan Maresz – Circumambulation.

Furthermore, this two artists will perform toghether in another two beautiful pieces: Fili, by Franco Donatoni and Appel d’air, by Bruno Mantovani.

This performances will be broadcast on Limenmusic Web Tv on Friday, March 18th.

For more info about Divertimento Ensemble and the musical season Rondò 2011, please visite the web site: www.divertimentoensemble.org.

For more info about the collaboration between Limenmusic and Divertimento Ensemble, please click here.

Don’t miss it!

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New releases by Limen music & arts

This time we change musical genre, moving from classical to jazz, to announce the release of a new discographical work by Limen music & arts.

Infact, from March 21st, 2011 will be available in major music stores the new album (CD+DVD): “The ‘B’ Side of the fish”, by Alberto Marsico & Organ Logistics.
The DVD features all the live video recordings of the session, plus interviews and extra bonus tracks.

Organ Logistics started their musical activity in 2004. The line-up is Alberto Marsico (organ), Diego Borotti (sax), Lorenzo Frizzera (guitar) and Gio Rossi (drums).
Their repertoire follows the “jazz organ quartet” mainstream, with all its bluesy and funkish sound, but sometimes these four musicians take different musical directions, adding some contemporary jazz moods and atmospheres to their music.
Organ Logistics are based in Italy, but they often played in other countries, like Austria, Germany, France, Czech Republic and Russia. They also made ensemble music workshops in a lot of schools and Conservatories around Europe.

“This DVD, featuring the total video coverage of our recording session at Limen Studio, is a turning point of my musical career, and I’m happy I worked on this together with Michele Forzani.”
Alberto Marsico.

About the record

For more info about Alberto Marsico & Organ Logistics, visite the web-site: www.albertomarsico.it/organ_logistics

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Clues…by Sonia Arienta

In the last Thirthy years, specialists (musicologists, musicians, singers, conductors, directors) and the most well-informed spectators know that Rossini’s Renaissance contributed in a very substantial way to restore worth and rights of this composer in the international scene. Among various and coarse meaning alterations that troubled his operistic production since the middle of nineteenth century, are not only full score’s manipulations and cuts, or stlyles of singing not philological.

The understimate of Rossini’s choices about the subject of his operas induced and sometime yet induce to retain this composer in the middle of his operatic career indifferent and alienated from his contemporary society, and from real world…

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Intersections, by Alfonso Alberti

Music and vacuum tubes: Paolo Castaldi and Postmodernism

Not many musicians know what a vacuum tube is. And it is not likely that most of the readers of this blog would be very familiar with that concept. The author of this lines, then, can evenly admit of knowing absolutely nothing about it.

Don’t be afraid, anyway. Also without getting into engineering details, will it suffice to say that Paolo Castaldi (born 1930) in 1969 wrote a piano piece, Grid, that works (the author declared it explicitly) exactly as a vacuum tube. In the vacuum tube, explains Castaldi, there is something that causes (mechanically and strictly) something else. The same happens in Grid: there is who commands and who is commanded, who lays down the rules and who follows them. The extraordinary thing is that the two “who” are two very famous musical pieces, that through Castaldi’s intercession meet and short-circuit…

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