Sunday, December 26, 2010

Three Piazzolla Originals

Today features three videos, all new to YouTube and all with important original Piazzolla content. The first video includes several minutes from the July 11, 1983 concert at the Teatro de Colón which the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, describes as "Piazzolla's apotheosis." Piazzolla and the Colón orchestra under the baton of Pedro Ignacio Calderón closed the concert with Adios Nonino and took five bows during a ten minute standing ovation. The voice-over in the video is Piazzolla's. The full concert can be heard on the difficult to find recording, Astor Piazzolla: En El Teatro Colón. Much of the concert can also be heard on the reissue CD, Concierto de Nácar, but unfortunately, Adios Nonino is not on that CD regardless of what it says on the label.

The second video contains no Piazzolla performances but does contain a Piazzolla voice-over and a priceless selection of Piazzolla family photographs. The video is a dramatization of Piazzolla's creation of Adios Nonino. The traditional story has Piazzolla composing the piece in the kitchen on a bandoneón, not on the piano as in this video. I believe that this video and the first video of the Teatro Colón performance are from Eliseo Alvarez's 1997 movie, Queréme así, piantao (also known as Astortango in Britain and the U.S.A.). To my knowledge, this movie has never been issued as a DVD but it apparently has been broadcast on HBO as a made-for-TV movie. Hopefully, we will see more from this movie in the future.

The third video captures fragments from a 1974 television broadcast on TV Tupi from São Paulo, Brazil. The first fragment features the Piazzolla quintet playing Invierno Porteño. The second fragment is Balada para un loco with Amelita Baltar doing the vocal. This is the only video I am aware of featuring the "re-formed" first quintet which existed briefly in 1974-75. It may also be the only video of Piazzolla performing with Baltar and is almost certainly the last since they separated, professionally and personally, shortly after this video was made. The pianist in the "re-formed" quintet was Osvaldo Tarantino but the pianist in this video does not appear to be Tarantino. Nor does he resemble Danti Amicarelli (see photo here) who sometimes substituted for Tarantino in the quintet. I might speculate that the pianist is Luigi Giudici who recorded with Piazzolla in Brazil during this period on his recordings with Ney Matogrosso but I find no photos of Mr. Giudici on the internet. It is a mystery. I am hoping a reader can help identify the pianist in the video and leave a comment below. Hopefully, more of this television appearance has survived and we will see it in its entirety in the future.

Note added 27 December, 2010: Mystery solved. The pianist is indeed Dante Amicarelli. Thanks to Daniel P. for the positive I.D.

If the videos do not appear below, click here for the Teatro Colón performance, here for the Adios Nonino story, and here for the video from São Paulo.

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

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