Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Te Quiero Tango - Eduardo Abramson

Eduardo Abramson has been featured before in this blog as the organizer of an important tango celebration in Israel and as a bandoneónist. He is featured in today's video primarily as the arranger of Te quiero tango although he also appears in the video as a bandoneónist.

Te quiero tango is rarely performed. There are several commercial arrangements available, this one includes lyrics and since no arranger is listed, it is probably the original. I learned from Mr. Abramson that the Spanish lyrics are by Roberto Arrieta, an Argentine singer who performed with Piazzolla in New York in 1959. There are also lyrics in French credited to Jean Manou. To my knowledge, Te quiero tango has never been recorded and I believe this is the first posting of the piece on YouTube. The copyright date is 1958, which corresponds to the period in which Piazzolla formed the short-lived Jazz-Tango quintet in New York City and made a few recordings for the Ti-Co label. I would speculate that this piece was written for such a recording, perhaps Take Me Dancing, but was never used. It was a period of financial and artistic struggle for Piazzolla and most of the music he recorded during that period is totally uncharacteristic of his future work and totally forgettable. That does not mean it is unenjoyable as demonstrated in today's video.

It is the arrangement that makes today's video special. Somehow, Abramson recognized the choral potential of the work and has converted it into quite a nice performance piece. Abramson (on bandoneón) and members of his TangoBar quintet provide a traditional tango accompaniment while the members of the Ma'ayan Choir, the official choir of the Tel Aviv municipality, do a superb job with the harmonies and phrasing of the work. The leader of this choir, Anat Morag, is exceptionally graceful and clear in her conducting style. Choral performances of Piazzolla's works are quite popular and this arrangement deserves to join the family of standard Piazzolla choral works. I hope it is published and well distributed so others can enjoy it.

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