Saturday, August 21, 2010

Conducting Tangazo - Andrea Profili

This blog is devoted to videos of performance of music composed by Astor Piazzolla. Any musician will tell you that behind the few minutes of performance that we enjoy viewing here, there are hours of practice and rehearsal that we don't see. Today's video gives us a glimpse of the normally unseen rehearsal process.

We see Andrea Laura Profili rehearsing Piazzolla's Tangazo with the Symphony Orchestra of Converse College which is usually led by Professor Siegwart Reichwald. Ms. Profili was at one time, perhaps still is, a violin performance major at Converse College. I am only guessing but perhaps she is from Argentina and was asked to help add a little canyengue to the orchestra's performance. She does an astonishingly good job of communicating to the orchestra what she wants to hear - for example, view her message on the tango accent at minute three in the video. I do not know if Ms. Profili has a serious interest in conducting but she has her own style and tremendous musical communication skills - she would be a success as a conductor.

While you do not hear much of Tangazo in the video, it is an interesting piece. It was composed in 1968 or 1969 as a serious orchestral work showing that Piazzolla's ambitions as a classical composer never really left him. It was premiered in Washington, D.C. in 1970 by the Ensemble Musical de Buenos Aires. You will find some interesting comments from Piazzolla about that performance here (he was not happy). There is a version of Tangazo on YouTube to which you can listen although for serious listeners, I recommend the Gabriel Castagna conducted version available on the CD, Piazzolla: Symphonic Works.

If you enjoy this inside view of orchestral rehearsal, you may enjoy this rehearsal video with Ricardo Muti and this one with Herbert von Karajan. Can you imagine either of these gentlemen demonstrating the tango accent?

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