Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lo Que Vendrá - Orquesta Típica "Central" del CSMA

It's not typical - the free reeds are accordions, not bandoneóns, but it would be a terrible mistake to dismiss the Orquesta Típica "Central", featured in today's video, for such a shortcoming. "Central" is an orquesta típica that deserves time on the world's better stages not just on the stage of the Auditorio Eduardo del Pueyo at Conservatorio superior de música de Aragón where the "Central" orquesta members are students. "Central" is new, their first performance was in March of last year but rarely have I heard a contemporary orquesta típica play with such precision and rhythmic certainty. The string section has discovered the secret that in tango, the dynamic envelop does not encompass a measure or two - it often encompasses only a single note or two. And they synchronize their management of those dynamics remarkably well as a unit. That a group of students in Spain who are supported but not led by faculty can have such an authentic sound, even with those accordions, is simply astonishing.

The orquesta típica, with its banks of bandoneóns and strings, represents the peak of the arc of classic tango. Piazzolla began his professional musical career as a bandoneónist and arranger for the orquesta típica of Anibal Troilo. Later he led his own orquesta típica before leaving the arc to create his tango nuevo. He composed a few classical tangos during and after that period. Lo Que Vendrá, the subject of today's video, is one of the best of those. It was composed in 1955 or 1956 and first appeared on the rare LP, Tango Progresivo.

Today's video comes from a concert which "Central" gave on December 15, 2010 in celebration of the 5th anniversary of Aragón Radio. The video is one of fourteen videos from the concert, all of which can be found on the CSMA Youtube Channel. The videos contain performances of three other Piazzolla classic tangos: Chau Paris, Triunfal and Prepárense as well as Piazzolla's arrangement of Tierra querida. There are a few of the fourteen pieces that could benefit from a little more rehearsal time but the choices of pieces to be played is wonderful and the overall level of performance is something that would be applauded even by the demanding audiences at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

There are no weak musicians in "Central" but I feel compelled to single out the pianist, Ms. Pilar López, for special recognition. She seems to have a remarkable feel the music - a natural sense of canyengue. Her touch is precise and the subtleties of her timing are, in part, responsible for the authentic sound of the group. It is also worth recognizing the two solo violinist, David Merlin and Daniel Hertado - who are the founders and the source of musical inspiration of "Central." It is my understanding that "Central" is their creation and that they provide the tango insight to the group with technical support from CSMA staff member, Rolando Prusak. You can see their musical chemistry together (although one moves to piano) in the duet version of La Camparsita. Surely one or both of these young musicians grew up closer to Buenos Aires than to Aragón to bring such authenticity to the music.

I believe most of the students in the orquesta are training to be classical musicians but I hope and expect this experience with tango will change their lives. Perhaps some of the accordionists will even give the bandoneón a try.

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