Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Raúl Lavié

Raúl Lavié was one of the leading singers of tango during the entirety of Piazzolla's career. Piazzolla admired his work. The Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, reports that Lavié was Piazzolla first choice as male vocalist for the premiere of the operita Maria de Buenos Aires but he was touring and unavailable. He sang with Piazzolla at least once in the 1970's but the only time he appeared regularly with Piazzolla was in 1984 when he toured Japan and Latin America with Piazzolla. Today's video of Lavié singing Balada para mi muerte with Piazzolla's Quintet on Argentine television comes from this period.

Lavié is, in some ways, the Frank Sinatra of Argentina. He is a very talented singer with a booming but nuanced voice and a mastery of phrasing. Like Sinatra he moved beyond singing to become an actor, appearing in more than 15 films and an equal number of television series. Today, at age 72, he still performs and you can see him in the MaderoTango show in Buenos Aires.

Balada para mi muerte is one of a trio of "ballads" with lyrics by Horacio Ferrer written in 1969. You can find the lyrics here. Balada para mi muerte was made famous by Milva - it was the first Piazzolla song recorded by Milva - but its popularity has never approached that of another ballad of that trio, Balada para un loco.

Sadly, Lavié never recorded an album with Piazzolla. The only media documenting them together are today's featured video and a video from the same broadcast where he sings El Gordo triste. A YouTube search will help you find Lavié singing many other Piazzolla cancion, but no others with Piazzolla himself providing the accompaniment.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

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