Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Café 1930 - Ramirez and Satorre

Don't be misled by the informality of the camera operation in today's video. You are going to see two of the finest young musicians in Argentina provide an extraordinarily sensitive performance of Café 1930 - the second of four movements in Piazzolla's Histoire du tango. The composition was written for flute and guitar but has been transcribed for many pairs of instruments. The bandoneón is sometimes substituted for either instrument. For example, Per Arne Glovigen plays bandoneón as a replacement for flute in this version of Bordel 1900. And in the famous Yo-Yo Ma CD, Soul of the Tango, the bandoneón replaces the guitar and Yo-Yo Ma's cello plays the flute part in Café 1930.

The guitarist in today's video is Adrian Ramirez who comes from Piazzolla's birthplace, Mar del Plata. Ramirez performance is simply perfect - articulate, flowing and emotive. No guitarist does it better. He is paired with Hugo Satorre on the bandoneón. Satorre is in high demand as a session bandoneónist and you will find him on many recordings. Still he has time to appear with the one of the hottest electro tango groups, Otros Aires, and tour the world as a member of the band for the show, Tango Fire. He is so busy, he has never established much of a web presence although you can find some biographical information on the website of Quatrotango. Satorre plays the flute part on the bandoneón quite straight with no ornamentation yet achieves a remarkable musicality. The bandoneón can be an expressive instrument with dynamics achieved through management of bellows pressure and the attack and note termination achieved both through finger movement and bellows action. The effect is similar to that achieved in the human voice with the lungs and tongue. Often this expressive capability is hidden by the drive in some players to play quickly or the drive to display complex harmonies. It is actually more difficult to play slowly and expressively and Satorre shows he is a master of this aspect of the bandoneón at a relatively early age.

I certainly hope that Ramirez and Satorre have also made videos of the other three movements of the Histoire du tango which they will share with us in the future.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.


  1. Hello, I am Adrian Ramirez. Thank you very much for your coments about us. best regards from Mar del Plata

  2. Hi, i really love this suite from Piazzolla, can you tell me where to find Cafè 1930's free score? I'd like to play it.
    Thank you

  3. write me to ramierz@hotmail.com and I´ll send you the scores. Adrian