Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Moderato Tangabile - Astor Piazzolla

Piazzolla, in person, plays Moderato tangabile in today's featured video. The performance was captured in 1979 in an Italian television program series, "Una valigia tutta blu." 1979 was a busy year for Piazzolla. It was his first full year with the second quintet and they toured extensively but as reported in the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, "In July, he flew to Europe for a couple of weeks to record television appearances in Rome, Naples and Paris." This video is no doubt from the Naples appearance.

Una valigia tutta blu (literally, "A suitcase all blue") was a short-lived, summer series, originating in Naples, on the Rai 1 channel. It was hosted by the fading Italian film star, Walter Chiari, and featured song writers of the day. Prior to the appearance of this Piazzolla video, it was perhaps best remembered for the appearance of the 1979 version of Lady Gaga, Patty Pravo, and if you watch this video from the show, you may understand why.

Piazzolla's choice of Moderato Tangabile for the show is curious. It is from the recording, Persecuta, which was discussed here in a recent posting. He never recorded it again, nor to my knowledge, did he ever perform it again. It is essentially a bandoneón solo in this video. It is difficult to tell if there is a live band accompanying him or if he is playing to a recording of the piece. I believe it is the latter - the fingering goes curiously in and out of sync with the audio. It seems probable that Piazzolla played along with the track directly from Persecuta but what the television audience hears is actually just the track from the recording.

I believe this is the first appearance of this video on YouTube and for that I am grateful to "TheJourney64", whoever he or she is.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

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

Follow Piazzolla on Video on Twitter.

Note: Tangabile is a musical descriptor created by Piazzolla. A play on the term cantabile, which means singable or songlike.

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