Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tanguano - Kremer & Argerich

In the hands of Gidon Kremer and Martha Argerich, Tanguano, featured in today's video, sounds like something composed by Piazzolla for the Kronos Quartet near the end of his career. In fact, it was composed in 1949 at the beginning of his career.

Tanguano is the first section of Dos Piezas Breves (the second section is Noche) composed for viola and piano. The work was "rediscovered" by Allison Brewster Franzetti and included in her excellent 1999 recording, The Unknown Piazzolla. That recording titles the piece Tanguango rather than Tanguano. Without access to the original score, I cannot resolve the proper title but can only note that in 1951, Piazzolla composed and arranged a piece for Anibal Troilo which is titled, Tanguango (it can be heard here). The pieces are quite different in settings but clearly related since they share several motifs (see the Tanguango Twins). The convention seems to be emerging to use Tanguango for tango or jazz versions of the work and Tanguano for classical versions of the work.

I believe the Kremer/Argerich version was captured in November of 1994 in a performance in Tokyo. While Franzetti's performance is "buttoned-down", precise and orderly the Kremer/Argerich version is "torn T-shirt", aggressive and, in the case of Mr. Kremer, barely in control. The performance is my favorite of Ms. Argerich's canon of Piazzolla performances and my least favorite of Mr. Kremer's. But any performance of Piazzolla which combines the talents of these two legendary musicians is a treat.

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