The performance of Adios Nonino by the Sexteto Mayor in today's featured video is from an August 1, 2010 broadcast on Crónica Televisión in Buenos Aires although the performance is clearly from a period before December, 2004 when lead bandoneónist in the video, José Libertella, died. The Sexteto Mayor held their first performance on April 29, 1973 at a tango bar called "La Casa de Gardel." The group was modeled on the 1924 sextet of Julio de Caro and used the instrumentation of that famous group: two bandoneóns, two violins, a piano and a contrabass. The initial group included José Libertella and Luis Stazo on bandoneón (both appear in this video), Reynaldo Nichele and Fernando Suárez Paz on violin, Armando Cupo on piano and Carlos Baillejos on contrabass. Based on the chronology found here, I believe, that the other musicians in the Sexteto at the time of this video were Mario Abramovich and Eduardo Walczak on violin, Oscar Palermo on piano and Osvaldo Aulicino on contrabass. That group was captured in 2002 by Guillermo Tello in a documentary film. The trailer for that film can be seen here.
For more than thirty years, Libertella and Stazo, defined the sound of the group: always instrumental - no vocals, and arrangements which honored the traditional tango but accepted the nuevo tango of Piazzolla. The group traveled the world in those thirty years and became well known as international ambassadors for the traditional tango. The group still exists today with violinists, Mario Abramovich and Eduardo Walczak, providing continuity to the current Sexteto Mayor. It seems likely that 2013 will bring a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Sexteto Mayor and I expect that Adios Nonino will be part of that celebration.
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