Posts Tagged ‘ astor piazzolla ’

1928, April2 – BIRTH OF LUIS CORREA

Singer (Aries) – reflecting on a long and successful career, Luis Correa would recall with nostalgia, his father crouched around his radio listening to his favorite stars on Radio Belgrano…as a little boy he began to imitate those singers to the delight of his father whose secret wish was to have been a singer and so he greatly encourage his son…Luis Correa was born in the town of “El Trebol” (clover) near Santa Fe, Argentina to a struggling family…he began singing in the local bars and cafes for donations and little by little he began developing a name for himself…through one of his loyal fans, at the age of twenty two, he was able to get his first professional job in a second-rate club in Mar del Plata (the birth place of Astor Piazzolla) catering to the newly rising middle class tourist…the result, in the eyes of some, of Juan Peron’s revolutionary populist policys…eventually he was befriended by renown singer Oscar Alonso who encouraged him to enter Radio El Mundo’s famous “Ronda de Cantores” singing contest which proudly featured  the Osvaldo Fresedo Orchestra…

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With great reluctance Luis entered and to his great surprise, out of hundreds of contestants, he was declared the winner…his first break came when he was recruited by the Francini – Pontier Orchestra, comprised of two childhood friends from the town of Zarate who would have such a great impact in the world of tango –  with them he made his recording debut on November 4, 1955 with “Noche de Locura” and “Perdoname”…in his career he would lend his voice to a number of orchestras including those of Alberto Mancione Orchestra and Hector Varela…with the Fulvio Salamanca Orchestra, in duet with singer Armando Guerrico, he would record the great hit “Recuerdo”…with the Miguel Calo Orchestra he had another hit in “Dos Fracasos”…in the mid sixties he began a solo career embarking on a successful tour of Latin America and later a successful tour of the United States culminating in a performance at the renown “Rincon Latino” in Miami”…he passed away from a heart attack  in the city of Mar del Plata at he age of sixty-four

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1936, March 26 – PREMIERE OF FILM “CANILLITA”

Florencio Sanchez, eighteen years old, dreamt of marrying his sweetheart but his job as a journalist just barely provided enough to live on and when he went to see his sweetheart was embarrassed to put on, his one and only threadbare suit…watching the rascally, mischievous, bold newspaper boys jumping off and on the trams shouting the headlines to passengers and passersby, he was inspired to write a play; “Canillita” which referred to the long thin legs on which they scurried about…to his astonishment, when it was premiered on October 1, 1902, it was not only immensely popular but would capture the imagination of the world inspiring similar characters all over the world….Astor Piazzolla, for example, would play newspaper boy “Canillita” in Carlos Gardel’s film “El Dia Que Me Quieras”…instead the film “Canillita” premiering on March 26, 1936, is a musical comedy in which a young girl falls in love with a singer and elects to runaway with him rather than marrying a store keeper to whom she is promised…

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Directed by Lisandro De La Tea it stars singers Amanda Ledesma, Sabina Olmos and Principe Azul…it features Pedro Maffia and his orchestra playing the theme tango “Canillita” which was composed by Julio Cesar Sanders…Amanda Ledesma was a simple shop girl who loved to sing who reluctantly entered a singing contest and won which launched a long and glorious career…this was the first film for Sabina Olmos; thirty more would follow and she would marry legendary singer Charlo…however, years later, Charlo now dead and she penniless and all but forgotten, she would take her own life by jumping from a high story building…Principe Azul was a highly paid singer and the powerful star making machine of the United States had selected him as the new Carlos Gardel; in fact he was on his way to New York to sign a contract with NBC, when he was suddenly struck with a serious illness which swiftly took his life just two days short of his 34th birthday

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letra.aspx?idletra=3023 to hear another inspiration, “Canillita, Canillita” performed by the Francisco Pracanico Orchestra with the voice of Sofia Bozan, 1928

1898, March 23 – BIRTH OF FRANCISCO DE CARO

Composer, Pianist (Aries) – it typified his life that lying on the hospital bed with the oxygen mask over his emaciated face, he was more concerned for the family of his dear friend, bandoneonist Gabriel Clausi “Chula” than for himself, “take care of them, look after them Chula”, he insisted…just a few minutes later, he passed away; he was 78 years old…Francisco De Caro had been the creative arm of the legendary team with his brother Julio de Caro; together they revolutionized the way tango was written and interpreted, founding the “Guardia Nueva” movement…many years later Astor Piazzolla would honor their contribution with his composition “Decarissimo”…the great fame that his brother Julio would attain was in no small part due to Francisco’s artistic leadership displayed in compositions like “Sueno Azul” and “Paginas Muertas”; Julio was headstrong, entrepreneurial and famously difficult to deal with…Francisco was the eldest of twelve children born to Giuseppe de Caro De Sica (an ancestor of legendary film director Vittoriio De Sica”)…

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Giuseppe had been the director of the conservatory of the prestigious “Teatro della’Scala de Milano” and commensurate with his august background he dreamed of  seeing his sons in the rarefied world of classical music; he was Francisco’s first piano teacher…however unbeknownst to the authoritarian Giuseppe, the boys began sharing their classical musical skills with the seedy world of tango…when Julio was nineteen years old, his father confronted him one dawn as he was returning from a gig and gave him the choice of either continuing with serious studies or leaving the house; Julio chose to leave the house and his brother Francisco followed him soon after…their estrangement would only end twenty years later when their father would show up at one of their performances and with tears in his eyes asked for forgivenesses…in 1923 the brothers formed their first quartet and began playing at the mythical Cafe Colon…they would eventually embark on a very successful tour of Europe during which they entertained dignitaries including  Charlie Chaplain and Baron Von Rothschild

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CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=SSZY161Xtz8 to hear the Osvaldo Fresedo version of “Sueno Azul” composed by Francisco De Caro

1941, March 20 – Alfredo De Angelis Debuts, “CAFE MARZOTTO”

He had waited a long time to start his own orchestra…most would-be greats jumped into the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship much younger (and most failed) and yet from the moment of his debut at the mythical Cafe Marzotto he would see stellar success…he would be criticized as being a merry-go-round orchestra for like Juan D’arienzo, adopting the 2/4 beat, would make it eminently danceable and eminently successful…another thing that differentiated him from his competition was its stability; his core group of musicians would remain with him for his and their entire career…another unique thing about the Alfredo De Angelis orchestra was that it popularized the tango duet, premier among them, the one composed of Carlos Dante and Julio Martel…Alfredo De Angelis was born in the charming village of Androgue just outside of Buenos Aires; years later it would be the inspiration for one of  Jorge Luis Borges’s books of poetry….

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From early age, young Alfredo demonstrated precociousness and at the age of nine began playing piano for silent movies at the Androgue Cinema…Alfredo impressed noted singer Juan Gilberti who gave him his first job as an accompanist…his first break came when he was invited to play with the renown Anselmo Aieta Orchestra…he developed a name for himself and invitations to play with other important orchestras followed…his orchestra was on the inaugural program of the legendary “Glostora Tango Club” and would perform there for 25 years…he would record 486 tangos with the Odeon Label between 1943 and 1977…the Cafe Marzotto mixed tango, football and horse races and made history…it gave its start to a young Attilo Stampone who played there in the 1930s; in 1946 a young and wavering Astor Piazzolla walked in to ask Attilo to join his group…it launched the career of Osmar Maderna, “the Chopin of tango” who would tragically die at the age of thirty-three in an airplane crash.

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1861, March 17 – ITALY IS UNITED…TANGO IS CREATED !

Perhaps the single biggest reason for the creation of tango was the unification of Italy which radically upended society  leading to massive emigration of Italians to Argentina….Tango is overwhelmingly a creation of Italian immigranst in Argentina…furthermore, it is part of  a history of Italian musical traditions which from the time of the Renaissance were being exported to royal courts as far away as Russian…the unification of Italy broke down the land feudal system which had survived in the south of Italy since the middle ages…the well intended redistribution of land had the unintended effect of  creating smaller and less efficient plots of land…at the same time improved hygiene and access to healthcare led to longer life spans and a dramatic increase in population…the emigration was mostly southern and rural; the great Ignacio Corsini, for example, was born in Troina, Sicily…the only large city to experience emigration was Napoli…with unification, it had gone from being the capital of a grand kingdom to being just another big city leading to a loss of jobs and loss of investment and consequently high unemployment rates…

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Adding to its woes were a series of cholera epidemics beginning in the 1880s which also encouraged emigration; in fact tango has strong Neapolitan musical roots…another effect of unification was that the state took over control of emigration by setting standards, licensing emigration agents, providing health care at ports of embarkation  and making agreements with receiving countries to protect the immigrants and to provide health care upon their arrival…in 1903 the government organized the ports of embarkation in Palermo, Naples and Genoa…Italian unification can be traced to the defeat of Napoleon (himself of Italian descent)…his installed monarchs tried to save their thrones by stoking nationalist sentiments which inadvertently inspired the move to the  unification of Italy…inspired by the French Revolution, a secret organization known as “Carbonari” developed to fight for Italian unification which with the leadership of the charismatic Giuseppe Garibaldi eventually prevailed…by one estimate, 80% of tango composers were of Italian descent; two of its greatest, Osvaldo Pugliese and Astor Piazzollawere of Italian jewish descent

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CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvFt615a14A&feature=related to hear the “Marcia Reale”, the official national anthem at the time of unification…it was composed by Giuseppe Gabetti in 1931 as the hymn of the Royal House of Savoy

1921, March 11 – BIRTH OF ASTOR PIAZZOLLA

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist, Pianist (Pisces) –“You idiot, that’s Piazzolla”Nadia Boulanger screamed at a young Astor Piazzolla; looking back on a story book career many years later he would say“in a mere matter of ten seconds, she had sent to hell ten years of work”…perhaps more than any one else, it was Nadia Boulanger, renown music teacher of the twentieth century, who was responsible for the eventual emergence of the genius Astor Piazzolla…he had been ashamed of his tango roots and his bandoneon; his true soul, he thought, belonged to Mozart and Bach but the astute Boulanger set him on the right destiny…the destiny of combining classical, jazz and tango all cemented by the musical milieu of New York where he grew up…it was a fateful day in 1953 when it was suggested to him to enter one of his compositions into the “Fabien Seveitsky Competition” which he did very reluctantly, he just did not think his work was good enough…to his great surprize, he won first place and a scholarship to study with the legendary Nadia Boulanger in Paris

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Although Astor Piazzolla was born in Argentina he was raised in New York and his music, his character and his life reflected that ambience; he even spoke english with a New York accent…his granparents had been immigrants from the ancient town of Trani, a settlement of ancient jewish scholarship in the region of Puglia in Southern Italy…as a boy he went through a series of operations due to a polio deformed right leg; his father advised him to be tough and to never let anything defeat him a lesson he learned all too well; he was once thrown out of school for aggressive behavior…the composition which won him his first popular acclaim was “Ballada Para Un Loco” which was premiered in 1969 by his second wife Amelita Baltar at the First Iberoamerican Music Festival where it won second place…his immortal “Libertango” was composed during the period that he lived in Rome in the 1970s…in his prolific career he would compose over 1000 works including orchestral works that continue to be played by orchestras the world over…Astor once said, “music is more than a woman because you can divorce a woman but not music…once you marry her, she is your everlasting love and you go to the grave with her”…he also once said of the most famous tango in the world, “La Cumparsita”“the worst of all tangos”

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1934, March 5 – GARDEL SINGS ON NBC, NEW YORK, 3 PM

This was one of the very first broadcasts of its kind in history…while Carlos Gardel was singing at  the NBC studios in New York, through a short wave radio hook-up, he was being accompanied by his long time guitarists Guillermo Barbieri and Angel Riverol back in Buenos Aires…the performance was being transmitted throughout Argentina by Radio Splendido transmitters and throughout South America through its affiliated radio stations with the assistance of Radio Belgran0…he had sung for the first time on NBC just a few months earlier, on new year’s eve, December 31 at 10.30 PM…his break had come during  the previous summer when he had met fellow Uruguayan, Hugo Mariani on vacation; Hugo was one of the key NBC orchestra conductor’s and had evaluated Gardel over a series of performances until one day he said, “Carlos, I think you are ready for New York”…this was a dream come true for Gardel; NBC was the most popular radio station in the world and the US market the most prestigious…

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The initial performance had gone so well that Gardel was given a contract to sing a series of weekly half hour performances; NBC was paying him $315.00 per week…this was a huge sum of money for a nation which was in the throes of a deep depression…newspaper mentions of his performances appeared all over the country along side the names of Jack Benny, Charlie Chaplain, Will Rogers, Eddie Cantor…NBC made an effort to sell Gardel to the broader American market by recording him in English but in the end, they gave up on the project; his English was not very good…his translater in New York was a thirteen year old bandoneonist by the name of Astor Piazzolla whose father had moved the family to New York some years earlier….Gardel was so impressed with young Astor’s talent that he had him accompany him on the NBC Symphony Orchestra for recording sessions…he also invited Astor to accompany him to on his forthcoming tour of South America but because of Astor’s young age his father finally did not give his consent…just a few months later Gardel would die in the fiery airplane crash in the Medellin, Colombia where all, save one guitarist, would perish

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