Posts Tagged ‘ astor piazzolla ’

2002, February 2 – Dutch Crown Prince Weds Argentinean

The beautiful princess, robed in an ivory-coloured, silk, Valentino gown with a five-metre lace train sitting next to handsome Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, could contain herself no longer and as the orchestra played Piazzolla’s “Adios Nonino” large tears began to roll down her eyes and she caressed the prince’s hand with her thumb…yes she was latin after all, she had said as much in an interview, “I am Latin and I will continue being Latin…I dance, I sing and I will keep on dancing and singing.” …for Maxima Zorreguietta, born May 17, 1971 in Buenos Aires (Taurus), this was a moment which surpassed even her wildest dreams…little did she realize who that blond young man was, whom she met in Sevilla Spain that day; all he said was that his name was “Alexander” and when he came to New York to visit her, she had to jar her memory a bit to remember who he was…later when he said he was a Prince, she laughed; she thought he was joking…among the dignitaries present at the wedding ceremony that day, were Prince Charles from the United Kingdom, the kings of Sweden, Norway and Belgium, the queen of Denmark, Crown Prince Naruhitoof Japan,  and Queen Noor from Jordan…acclaimed violinist Vadim Repin played Carlos Gardel’s “Por Una Cabeza”

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Conspicuously absent was the father of the bride Jorge Zorreguietta…he had served as a high level minster for the brutal dictatorship of General Jorge Videla; the same one who instigated the “dirty war” in which 10,000 to 30,000 men, women and children disappeared…when the news of the impending wedding came out it created a firestorm in the Dutch Parliment…an investigation was conducted which concluded that it was highly unlikely that a minster of that level did not know of the government’s campaign of atrocities…the issued was finally settled when the father elected to not attend the wedding…the streets outside were a mass of orange as 80,000 spectators waited in the winter sunshine for a glimpse of the couple who finally appeared in a gilded carriage, escorted by more than 200 royal grenadiers on foot and on horseback…Princess Maxima smiled generously and waved to everyone; in time her popularity would surpass even that of the Crown Prince….And does the Crown Prince dance tango ? “I keep trying to push him” say Princess Maxima,“His hips are a little rigid”.

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1914 January 9 – BIRTH OF ALFREDO ATTADIA

Composer, Leader, Bandoneonist (Capricorn) – as soon as Juan Peron came into power, Alfredo Attadia, declared himself an ardent Peronist and thus gave a great surge forward to his career; this was to have dire consequences for him years later when Peron was overthrown in 1954…he would find himself, like so many other artists, blacklisted and exiled; in the case of legendary poet  Enrique Santos Discepolo for example, it would hasten a premature death from a broken heart…..but this would come later, for now he was summoned to cut the tangos “Descamisados” and the march “Peronista” to be used for political propaganda by the Peron regime… a period of rapid ascendancy commenced; there was a lucrative contract with Radio Belgrano, performances at the chic Dancing Ocean Club and at the legendary Cabaret Moulin Rouge.. . in Montevideo his notoriety took a great jump forward when he began playing at the historic café El Ateneo

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He was born in the neighborhood of San Andres in the town of San Martin which is just outside of Buenos Aires..like a young Piazzolla, as a young boy he was mesmerized by the sound of the bandoneon; his father reluctantly bought him his first one…he had envisioned a professional career for his beloved son…eventually through  a family friend, young and shy Alfredo garnered an audition for an all girl’s orchestra and he was hired; at the age of 17 he debuted with them at the Cafe Paris…this was the start of a grand career including stints with some the best tango groups in history , Alfredo MalerbaAngelo D’Agostino and Rodolfo Biaggi for whom he wrote his first arrangements….with a young and ambitious Alfredo Di Angelis he formed his first orchestra which they called “Tipica Florida”…among his numerous compositions, perhaps his best was “Tres Esquinas” which he composed with Angel D’Agostino and was a great hit for vocalist Angel Vargas

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1953, December 19 – BIRTH OF ALBERTO DE LOS SANTOS

The guitar is the symbolic instrument which unites both Argentina and Uruguay; it has been from the beginning, the primary instrument for both tango and folk music in Montevideo and Buenos Aire…it is with this in mind that Alberto De Los Santos, in 1991, founded the Cuarteto De Los Santos; which from its inception has included band members from both Argentina and Uruguay…its success has been phenomenal; it has gone on to conquer critics and audiences all over the world…one critic noted, “rarely in the history of the guitar, have guitars had such a spell binding effect on audiences…the elixar of  ”Cuarteto De Los Santos” cuts across age, national and cultural differences”

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Alberto de los Santos was born in Montevideo, Uruguay to a father who was himself a musician and guitarist…from early on his father noticed the musical talent in young Alberto and he began teaching him…when other boys might be anxious to get on the football field or hang out with friends, Alberto was totally devoted to his guitar..his proficiency at a young age surprised even his father… at the age of 13 he was selected among several candidates to form part of a trio; his first professional job…at age 15 he became part of a renown duet called “America” which quickly attained notiriety…he was then invited to become part of the Carlos Paralta guitar ensemble which accompanied the legendary Roberto Goyeneche…he began to be requested in the  groups providing music for television stations in both Montevideo and Buenos Aires by noted maestros like Horacio Salgan…the repertori of Cuarteto De Los Santos has included instrumental versions of famous Argentinian and Uruguayan authors and composers such as Astor Piazzolla, A. Zitarrosa,  Agustin Bardi, Eduardo Arolas, Alfonso y Zabala.

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1969, December 4 – Goyeneche Records “BALLADA PARA UN LOCO”

In the classic film “King of Hearts” (1966) the residents of a small French village during World War I leave because the Germans plan to bomb the village…the inmates of the local insane asylum take over the village and create a festive, gay, surreal, make belief atmosphere totally oblivious to the war; the message of the film is, perhaps normal people are more crazy than those in the asylum…it is precisely this film which inspired Horacio Ferrer to write music…when the piece was premiered by Amelia Baltazar at the Buenos Aires Tango Festival, it created a great controversy because many did not see it as real tango and even hissed at it while Amelia was singing it…it was leading in the voting on the final day but the controversy forced the judges to give it second place instead…when “Balada Para Un Loco” was recorded, it was a great hit selling over 200,000 in the first week alone

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Horacio Ferrer was born June 2, 1933 in Montevideo, Uruguay (Gemini) to a cultured family; his father was a professor of history and his mother, who was eleven years older than his father, spoke four languages…already as a child, he started writing his first poems, simple plays and even milongas to which he accompanied himself on guitar…at the age of 20 his was invited to participate on a weekly radio program called “A Selection of Tangos”…he soon started a groundbreaking magazine called “Tangueando” which he wrote and illustrated himself…in 1970 he wrote “Book of the Tango, Peoples Art of  Buenos Aires”its three volumes and more than 2000 pages is one of the most complete works on tango in history…he has collaborated with Astor Piazzolla on a number of hits; one writer called them “the Lennon – MaCarthy team of tango”

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  • CLICK HERE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DBmUoy6Q2c to hear Roberto “Polaco” Goyeneche sing one of his great hits “Ballada Para Un Loco” with lyrics by Horacio Ferrer and music by Astor Piazzolla

1970, December 3 – PIAZZOLLA RECORDS “INVIERNO PORTENO”

The story is told of a young lady present at pianist Linda Lee Thomas’s performance of “Invierno Porteno” who was so moved by the music that she burst into sobs….Inspired by Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, “Invierno Porteno” (Winter in Buenos Aires) is the second of Astor Piazzolla’s “Cuatro Estaciones Portenas” (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires) which was written over a period of six years in the 1960s and which has caught the attention of world-wide audiences…in fact classical music orchestras are beginning to program “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires”, alongside those of Vivaldi’s…for example in the year 2000, renown violinist Gidon Kremer, released a highly acclaimed album called “Vivaldi and Piazzolla, Eight Seasons”…of  the four, Invierno Porteno is perhaps the most beloved of Piazzolla’s quartet…recently Japanese World champion skater, Daisuke Takahashi clinched the Grand Prix NHK Trophy with an inspired performance skating to “Invierno Porteno”

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Astor Piazzolla, an only child, was born on March 11, 1921 (Pisces) in Mar De Plata Argentina…when he was four years old, the family moved to New York City where at the age of eight, his father bought him his first bandoneon …in 1936 the family moved back to Mar De Plata and it is here that Astor began to play in a number of tango orchestras….Carlos Gardel was a friend of the family and in fact Astor played the part of a paper boy in his film “El Dia Que Me Quieras”…..one day he happened to hear Elvino Vardaro’s Sextet on the radio and his alternativeways of interpreting tango was to have a great influence on him…in 1954 he was awarded a scholarship by the French government and he went to Paris to study under Nadia Boulanger who, after hearing him play tango says to him “Here is the true Piazzolla, never let him go, do not abandon your roots”…with its elements of jazz and classical music Tango Nuevo is born

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1910, October 30 – BIRTH OF JUAN CARLOS LA MADRID

Juan Carlos De La Madrid was Terry Malloy…in one of film history’s most famous scenes from the 1954 Academy Award winner “On The Waterfront”, Terry (Marlon Brando) says, “I could have had class, I could have been a contender, I could have been somebody”….in similar disarmingly frank, self-deprecating  language La Madrid would say about himself, “In my life, I have done all of the bad things you can imagine and in the end I am no one”…like Malloy, Juan Carlos was a boxer, a sparing partner for 3 pesos a round and a meal when he was lucky; when he wasn’t boxing he dabbled at dancing and singing tango…ten years later the celebrated Hector Maure would have a similar fate…Maure’s dreams of boxing glory were cruelly ended one evening when a left from no where sent him to the canvass for the 10 count and an injury that ended his career; he became a tango singer… La Madrid was part of Buenos Aires’ underbelly…he was a constant presence in the city’s cheap barrooms, its smoke-filled gambling dens where desperate, unshaved men crouched over roulette tables only to disappear just a few minutes later into oblivion…”Juanito” was liked by its assorted actors, the hoods, its loan sharks, the pimps, its fools and its street poets with whom he generously shared his spare change…he was proud of his ability to hold his whiskey…

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It was very much of a macho world and Juanito, a keen observer, wrote about it, “mine are men’s poems, from a man’s world”…he wrote in lunfardo, “the language of the people of the streets” he would say…his tango lyrics were real…the legendary Astor Piazzolla called him to write the lyrics for his “Fugitiva” which he recorded to great acclaim with the voice of Maria De La Fuente in 1952…Juan Carlos De La Madrid (Scorpio), was born in the neighborhood of Flores in Buenos Aires to a poor family…he had little formal education but he was curious and he loved to read….already as a child, he demonstrated the intensity and passion which would later characterize him as an adult…the roar of the sea was his palliative….to survive he tried many things including having been a journalist, a literature teacher, a book salesman, a radio and television program organizer and even a Shakespearean actor…at the certain point he began to lose his eyes sight and became immensely depressed…contemplating suicide, he recalled one of his favorite lines from Hamlet: “o, that this too solid  flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itslef into dew…how weary stale flat and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world”…but his indomitable spirit jolted him to continue on, “I realized that I loved living like an actor who must go on with his assigned role until the curtain comes down”….his two books of poems, “Hombre Sumado” (The Sum of Man) and “Pequena Rosa Lunfarda” are still traded among collectors

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1926, October 10 – BIRTH OF GREAT DANCER “VIRULAZO” !

He was a Mark Twain like character – cantankerous, tough, misanthropic, effusive and irascible by turns, addicted to profanity; this was Virulazo (Libra)…he did not like Piazzolla, he did not like the Japanese, Venice stank, John Travolta and Michael Jackson were queers; he once told Henry Kissinger to go to hell when he asked him to dance for free….he grew up tough; he began working at the age of eight first as a shoe shine boy outside whore houses…later selling sausage sandwiches to revelers late at night…a common laborer in a clamorous, rank-smelling slaughter-house; what little education he had he learned on the streets…his father was a Basque and his mother Italian but they separated early on and he was unloaded to his grandparents….”everything I am and all that I have accomplished I owe to my grandfather” he would say with tears in his eyes….he learned to dance tango by watching and his first performance was with his mother at the age of 12…he started dancing in cafes of the Mataderos neighborhood for spare change and for something to eat…

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Later while dancing at a festival, he came to the attention of the master of ceremonies, the legendary lyricist Celedonio Flores and the singer Carlos Acuna; they encouraged and helped him….the very next day he appeared at the Armonia Cafe for his first professional engagement to great aclaim…in 1952 out of 157 dance couples, he won first place in a dance contest sponsored by the Aquila Chocolate Company…he would be Robert Duvall’s first tango teacher and he would be admired by the likes of Nureyev and Anthony Quinn whom he met in New York where he stayed at a luxurious hotel on 5th Avenue….his beloved dance partner Elvira had actually been his first girlfriend…they separated, he married his first wife Aida at the age of 18…nine years later he and Aida divorced and in stroke of destiny, he re-met Elvira whom he would marry and who would be his beloved dance partner for his whole life…his favorite tango was “Berretin” by Pedro Laurenz and his favorite singer was Carlos Gardel, who he said, moved him to tears each time he heard him sing…”crying”, he said, “is no longer just for women”

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