Monday, June 28, 2010

Lo Que Vendrá - duo resonances

On October 17, 1983, Piazzolla attended the birthday party of Délia Estrada-Aussel. This obscure link is the only one I could find between Piazzolla and the arranger of one of the most familiar guitar duo pieces in the Piazzolla catalog. That piece is Lo que vendrá played in today's featured video by the group, duo resonances. There are more than twenty versions of the Estrada-Aussel arrangement of Lo que vendrá on YouTube and almost as many on recordings by a large variety of artists but the performance of the young guitarists of duo resonances, Frédérique Luzy and Pierre Bibault has more musicality and is performed with more precision and feeling than any other on YouTube. It is the definitive performance.

Ms. Estrada-Aussel is a guitarist, a teacher, an arranger of music for the guitar and earlier in her career a frequently successful participant on the guitar festival circuit. Whether that birthday meeting sparked her interest in Piazzolla's music or whether his presence was the result of some other relationship will probably remain unknown but she did something quite remarkable in creating her now famous arrangement of Lo que vendra. Piazzolla composed the piece in 1956-57 for his Buenos Aires Octet. The story of that octet is well told in a TodoTango Chronicle. In its original form (found on the LP, Tango progresivo), the piece has a jazz combo feel with individual soloist taking the lead sequentially but the overall sound is more 1930's soundtrack than 1950's jazz. There are only hints of the nuevo tango to come. While it was quite a break from the traditional tango sound of the time, it was not until Piazzolla's version of the piece for his quintet in 1961 (available on the CD, Piazzolla interpreta a Piazzolla) that the work took on a nuevo tango edge. And the final, 1963 version (available on the CD, Tango Contemporaneo) is almost unrecognizable compared to the first version. If you listen to these three quite different versions and then listen to the guitar duo version, the most striking thing is not the similarities, it is the differences. In many ways, the music that Délia Estrada-Aussel heard and managed to capture for two guitars is more consistent and more coherent than anything Piazzolla himself created. It is one of those remarkable cases where I believe an arranger of Piazzolla's music has done a better job with a musical idea than the composer.

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

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