Monday, May 2, 2011

Lo Que Vendrá

Will the real Lo que vendrá please stand up? Today's video, a bandoneón solo version of the piece played by Damián Foretic is certainly not the real one although it is lovely. The quality of the videography is excellent (see a bandoneón up close), the quality of the sound is excellent, and Mr. Foretic is a good bandoneónist who plays with feeling and musicality. But we know it is not the real Lo que vendrá - it is an arrangement for solo bandoneón by Néstor Marconi. You can see and hear Mr. Marconi play it himself here. Many bandoneónist play this arrangement. No one, including Mr. Foretic, play it remotely as well as Marconi.

Lo que vendrá was composed in the mid-50's, quite probably in Paris while Piazzolla was studying with Nadia Boulanger. When Piazzolla returned to Buenos Aires from Paris, he organized the Octeto Buenos Aires and in 1956, they recorded their first LP, Tango Progresivo. In that recording, Piazzolla showed Argentina for the first time, his ideas on "new" tango. The record contained six tracks - five were Piazzolla's "new" arrangements of classical tangos by other other composers and one was his new composition, Lo que vendrá. It is clear that the outline of a nice piece of music is there but to my ears, this version of Lo que vendrá is hesitant and confused. It is a little classical, a little orquesta típica, a little jazz and a little "new" tango. You can hear this first recording of the piece here. It is the first Lo que vendrá but is it the real Lo que vendrá?

The work was apparently a favorite of Piazzolla. In the next five years he recorded it five more times and each time, it was a little more coherent and different. In 1958, he used the piece as the main theme in the sound track for the movie, Dos basuras. According to the Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, at a lecture in October, 1961, Piazzolla played a recording of Lo que vendrá to demonstrate the "new" tango. The last time he recorded it was in 1963, for the LP, Tango Contemporaneo. As in the original recording, this one again was made by an octet, the Nuevo Octeto. This version can also be heard here on YouTube. Perhaps this is the real Lo que vendrá. It retains the classical sounding violin solo but now takes almost entirely the form of tango nuevo.

The story could be conveniently ended there but Le Grand Tango has one more interesting observation. Lo que vendrá had enough orqesta típica style in it to attract Piazzolla's earlier boss and mentor, Anibal Troilo. Troilo recorded his own version, which you can hear here. In 1961, Piazzolla and Troilo appeared together on Channel 11 in Buenos Aires and Troilo invited Piazzolla to join him in playing Lo que vendrá. If video of that program still exists, it is in it, perhaps, that we will find the real Lo que vendrá.

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