Thursday, December 24, 2009

Triunfal - A Defining Moment

In the previous post, we learned how Sinfonia Buenos Aires, provided Piazzolla his passage to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger. Today's video of Triunfal played by Tanguisimo Quinteto helps tell the next chapter of that story. Piazzolla shared his classical works with Mme. Boulanger and she was not impressed. Finally, she convinced Piazzolla to share with her one of his tangos. He played Triunfal for her on her piano. To quote from the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, "At the eighth bar she stopped him, took him by his hands, and told him firmly: 'This is Piazzolla! Don't ever leave it!'" Fortunately for us, he took her advice.

Triunfal was written between 1951 and 1953 - an awkward period in Piazzolla's musical life. He had left Troilo's orquesta, although he still occasionally appeared with them, and given up his own orquesta. He was free-lancing as an arranger and had begun his career as a composer of soundtracks for movies. He wrote a number of almost traditional tangos during this period including Triunfal, Prepárense and Contratiempo. While these are essentially traditional tangos, you can hear increased emphasis on the 3-3-2 pattern and hints of complex chords which ultimately became key parts of the nuevo tango style.

Tanguisimo is based in Buenos Aires and consists of Carlos Morbidoni - violin, Pablo Mitilineos - guitar, Cesar Garcia - piano, Renato Venturini - Bandoneon, and Santiago de Ines on contrabass. All five of these young musicians are excellent and they have a very authentic sound. They perform early Piazzolla as it should be played. If you enjoy this version of Triunfal, be sure and check out their version of Retrato de Alfredo Gobbi

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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


  1. Contact quintet Tanguisimo: