A los maestros is a tribute to two musical ensembles that have marked the history of guitar and bandoneon. They are the Aníbal Arias (1922-2010) and Osvaldo José Montes (1934-2014) duo and the Juanjo Domínguez (1951-2019) and Julio Pane (1947) duo.
Four very important maestros who have dedicated their careers mainly to the tango repertoire, creating versions of the highest artistic level.
It is precisely these versions that Alessandro Deiana and Fabio Furia have decided to reinterpret, combining them with their personal musical taste and providing a new reading, through their own touch and musicality.
The guitar and bandoneon duos played a very important role in the affirmation and evolution of tango, although the first real important publication was the one recorded by Anibal “Pichuco” Troilo and Roberto Grela by RCA Victor de Argentina in 1966.
The idea behind the project is based on an evident temporal delimitation, deriving from the choice of compositions belonging to the period between the age of the Guardia Vieja and the Edad de Oro. However, it was preferred to sort the pieces not by a chronological criterion, but to create a musical path capable of generating a feeling of growing musical expressiveness in the listener.
Many of the pieces presented here, starting from a strong popular connotation, have crossed the boundaries of tango, landing in the most prestigious concert halls through the performance of the most important interpreters of classical, opera and jazz music.
The Tango: Origins and Evolution
For a contextualization of this recording a brief overview on the evolution of tango may be required.
The term tango is polysemantic: a dance, a song, a musical genre and an exclusively instrumental piece. It was born between 1860-1890 among Arrabales, the suburbs and the poorest one, of the twin cities, Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
Having already acquired the famous embrace we know today, this dance was present both in the brothels and in the courtyards of the conventillos (public houses), where Italians, Spaniards, Poles and other immigrants shared lively crowded districts.
Due to its origins and the sensuality of its steps, tango was considered an immoral dance, a marginal dance, relegated to the most popular areas of the urban suburbs. Things changed when in the 20s of the twentieth century the tango arrived in Paris, becoming a fashionable dance in the aristocratic circles of the French capital. Following the Parisian successes of this new dance, tango fever breaks out among the elites of Buenos Aires, who until then had not shown any interest in a dance considered immoral and popular .
The evolution of tango is generally divided into five phases: Guardia Vieja, Guardia Nueva, Edad de Oro, Tango Nuevo and Renacimiento del Tango.
The phase of the Guardia Vieja develops from the late nineteenth-century origins until 1920. In this period the tango asserts itself as an autonomous genre, differentiating itself from the previous genres that revolved around Buenos Aires and Montevideo. The main protagonists of the early days of tango are Angel Villoldo (1861-1918), Roberto Firpo (1884-1969) and Francisco Canaro (1888-1964). In this first phase very few tangos are sung: the tango of the Guardia Vieja is above all a music whose primary purpose is to accompany the dance.
Musically it presents itself with an elementary musical structure and with a style shared by all the authors and performers: quite long melodies often characterized by arpeggios and therefore not very suitable for the introduction of lyrics, repeated musical sections without any variation and brief modulations to the nearby tones. Thanks to the development of audio technology, the first phonographic recordings of tangos played by small orchestras appear already in this first phase; the most important example dates back to 1910, thanks to Vicente Greco (1888-1924) and his Orquesta Típica Criolla.
With the Guardia Nueva (1920-1935) the tango matures significantly, acquiring stylistic connotations that are more varied and musically interesting, characterized by instrumental solos, dialoguing sections between violins and bandoneón and the use of the characteristic rubato of the melody appears, i.e. variations in the speed of the rhythmic trend.
Already in the early 1920s, with the bandoneonist Osvaldo Fresedo (1897-1984) and the pianist Juan Carlos Cobián (1888-1953), the individual instruments began to have a predetermined role within the ensemble, trying to enhance their characteristics. The sextet by Francisco De Caro (1898-1976) consisting of 2 bandoneons, 2 violins, double bass and piano in 1923, became the model of the Guardia Nueva orchestra.
In the same years the first figures of singers specialized in tango were born. Carlos Gardel (1890-1935), both for his vocal and compositional qualities, and for the paradigmatic nature of his biography, is the most brilliant example of this.
The Edad de Oro (1935-1955) represents the moment of greatest splendor for tango: the orchestras increase its numbers, reaching twelve elements (four bandoneón, four violins, sometimes viola and cello, piano and double bass), the arrangements become refined and composed in detail.
In this period, many dancers are fascinated by faster musical tempos with a very clear rhythmic pattern, preferring playing styles such as those proposed, for example, by the orchestra conducted by Juan D’Arienzo (1900-1976). The simpler musical style of D’Arienzo, despite the numerous criticisms received from the most progressive part of the musicians of the time, contributes to the formation of a new audience for the benefit of the whole world of tango.
Around the 1940s, numerous new musical formations appeared in contrast with the style of D’Arienzo. These orchestras, more open to experimentation, represent the evolution of De Caro’s stylistic line. Among the others we remember the formations of Alfredo Gobbi (1912-1965), Osvaldo Pugliese (1905-1995), Pedro Laurenz (1902-1972), Lucio Demare (1906-1974) and above all Aníbal Troilo (1914-1975), whose orchestra is considered the most important of the period.
After 1955, when President Perón was overthrown by a military coup, there has been a period of crisis in the tango. The fall was accelerated by the introduction of mass culture products, including musical ones, imported from the United States.
A new energy to the tango is given by Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) who, since the 1960s, has been working on the development of the Tango Nuevo. This path results in the publication of the album Libertango in 1974. The rhythmic characteristics intrinsic to this new style lead to a real revolution of the tango and its destination: from music mainly intended for dance, it becomes music mainly for listening.
Another break with tradition is the introduction of electric instruments (guitar and electric bass) and drums, borrowed from the typical jazz line up. Various musical formations were born around the Tango Nuevo and a movement linked to dance also developed in the 90s, starting from the analysis of individual movements, deconstructing traditional dance.
The Renacimiento del Tango develops from 1983 following the international success of the Argentine Tango show, a musical work staged by the director Claudio Segovia (1933) and by the musician Hector Orezzoli (1953-1991) which was performed to great acclaim in Paris and Broadway and then resumed all over the world. The enormous success of the work has stimulated the revival of interest in the world of tango, with the opening of schools and dance halls all over the planet, decreeing that tango belongs to the heritage of all humanity, as certified on 30 September 2009 by UNESCO.
Samuele Francesco Mazza © 2021
Alessandro Deiana: Born in a teachers’ family and encouraged by his father to follow his natural inclination towards music, since a very early age he has studied classic guitar under the guidance of M° Armando Marrosu at the Conservatorio “L. Canepa” of Sassari. After graduation, he attended courses held by the late M° Alberto Ponce, one of the greatest guitar performers and founder of an unprecedented in the history guitar school, perfecting at the École Normale de Musique de Paris where, in 2002, he obtained the Diplôme Supérieur d'Exécution en Guitare. Upon returning, he furthered his studies in musical education, receiving the diploma in Musical Didactics with full marks and honours in 2007. Subsequently, in 2009, he concluded the Biennial Superior Course of Instrumental Music Teaching. He has been awarded in several national and international musical and guitar performance competitions (Emilio Pujol International Competition of Sassari, Fernando Sor International Competition of Rome, Maria Luisa Anido International Competition of Cagliari, and others).
Since the early years of study, he has performed intense concert activity, both as a solist and in various chamber music ensembles. He has held hundreds of concerts for important institutions and associations in Italy and abroad (Austria, Australia, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Portugal, England, Czech Republic, Spain, Switzerland and Ulster). He often performs solo concerts for guitar and orchestra (Mainzer Kammerorchester of Mainz, Chamber Orchestra of Frankfurt, Incontri Musicali Orchestra of Cagliari, Ellipsis Orchestra, and others).
As a teacher, he worked at the Conservatoires Municipaux of Bussy Saint-George and Savigny le Temple (France) and many years at the Scuola Civica di Musica of Olbia (Sardinia - Italy). Currently, he teaches guitar at the Istituto Comprensivo of Tempio Pausania in Sardinia and holds the role of artistic director at the Scuola Civica di Musica in the same city.
He has made numerous CD, radio and television recordings in Italy and abroad.
He normally plays instruments of the luthier Rinaldo Vacca and uses Optima Strings N.6.
Fabio Furia: Fabio Furia, a world-class concert performer, composer and arranger, is considered to be one of the most important bandoneonists in Europe. Thanks to his intense concert activity, he performed in the most important concert halls the world over, including Parco della Musica di Roma, Dvorak Hall of Rudolfinum in Prague, Auditorium Giovanni Arvedi di Cremona, Bozar Theatre in Brussels, Cagliari’s Opera House, the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens, and the Großer Saal in Klagenfürt. Highly regarded internationally, his talent is known to many Italian and foreign music festivals and institutions, including, Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Lubjana Festival, Stadivari Festival Cremona, I concerti del Quirinale (Rome), Emilia Romagna Festival, “Maggio dei Monumenti” Festival (Naples), “Settimane musicali bresciane”, “Gubbio Summer Festival”. He collaborated with prestigious musicians and ensembles, such as: Anna Tifu, Antony Pay, Michel Michalakakos, Franco Maggio Ormezowski, Anne Gastinel, Stefano Pagliani, Jean Ferrandis, Roberto Cappello, Solisti della Scala, Turner String Quartett, Kodàly String Quartett, Budapest String Orchestra, Daniel Binelli, Juan Josè Mosalini, Hiba al Kawas, Salzburg Chamber Soloists, the Kiev Symphony Orchestra, the Baden Baden Symphony Orchestra, Kso Kärtner Sinfonieorchester, the Archimede Quartet, the Wanderer Trio. He performed as a soloist in Italy, Canada, Mexico, Croatia, Check Republic, Germany, France, Slovenia, Macedonia, Lithuania, Austria, Spain, Japan, Korea, Greece, Lebanon, and the United States.
He is former member and soloist of the Anna Tifu Tango Quartet, Novafonic Quartet, the duo with the Italian guitarist Alessandro Deiana and of the duo with the violinist Gianmaria Melis.
He started studying piano and classical accordion at the age of 7, first as self-taught and then under the guidance of teacher Eliana Zajec in Trieste. However, he owes a large part of his musical formation to Prof. Corrado Rojac, who for some years in adolescence, gives him instrumental lessons, harmony and counterpoint. Subsequently, at the age of 16, he studied clarinet at the Conservatory of Cagliari. He then graduated with honours in only four years under the guidance of Maestro Roberto Gander.
He studied further with some of the best clarinetists in the world, including Antony Pay, Alessandro Carbonare, and Wenzel Fuchs. In parallel with the clarinet’s concert career, he undertook the study bandoneon then he decided to study with the best bandoneon teachers as Juan José Mosalini and graduating brilliantly at the Conservatory of Paris Gennevilliers, under the guidance of Juanjo Mosalini. He is founder and artistic director of two Cultural Associations, “Anton Stadler” and “ContraMilonga”. He is also the creator of important music seasons such as the “International Chamber Music Festival”, which this year marks its XXIII edition, “ARTango & Jazz Festival”, the “Bandoneon International Masterclass”, event able to attract young musicians from all over the world and “Liberevento” an important literary festival of which he is the artistic director for the part of the events music.
He also teaches and organizes both instrument and ensemble music classes and masterclasses for public and private institutions.
He founded the Italian Bandoneon Academy with which he organizes masterclasses and concerts with the most important soloists in the world. Since 2014, until 2018 he teached Bandoneon at the conservatory “P. Da Palestrina” of Cagliari, first bandoneon course in Italy. Thanks to this experience, in June 2018, the MIUR has approved the three-year degree course in Bandoneon which has now become a point of reference for the teaching of the bandoneon, attracting some of the most talented young bandoneonists from all over the world.
He collaborates with the Bandoneon class of Prof. Yvonne Hahn of the Conservatory of Avignon and with CODARTS University in Rotterdam, with whom he has activated a didactic project that has alternate offices in the three conservatories of Cagliari, Avignon and Rotterdam. His discography includes “ContraMilonga” (2010), “Fabio Furia in concert” (KNS Classical – 2013), Novafonic Quartet (KNS Classical – 2015).
He plays a bandoneon 142 from the German factory Alfred Arnold Bandonion and Concertinafabrik Klingenthal, of which he is a collaborator and endorser. He also owns and plays two beautiful historical bandoneon Alfred Arnold “complete nacarado” of 1937 and a “Negro Liso” of 1938 they are of the very few exemplary preserved in perfect condition and totally original.
Aníbal Troilo (b Buenos Aires, 11 July 1914; d Buenos Aires, 18 May 1975). Argentine tango bandoneon player, bandleader and composer. Largely self-taught, he played full-time in tango bands from the age of 13, working in those of Juan Maglio, the Vardaro-Pugliese Sextet, Julio De Caro and Alfredo Gobbi among others. His own band made its début at the Marabú cabaret in Buenos Aires in July 1937. With Troilo’s bandoneon and the piano skills of Orlando Goñi, it was soon recognized as the leading band of its time; the first of its nearly 500 recordings date from 1938. Supremely popular in Buenos Aires, Troilo made relatively few trips abroad, which were always short. His best tango songs were written with the lyricist Homero Manzi, and include Barrio de tango and Sur, the prime tango classics of the 1940s. In 1953 he wrote music for a long-running musical comedy, El patio de la morocha, and he and his musicians appeared in eight Argentine films. From the 1950s to the end of his life Troilo also worked with excellent smaller groups, the Troilo-Grela Quartet (with guitarrist Roberto Grela) and his own Aníbal Troilo Quartet. The records he made with these groups, especially the album Troilo-Grela (1963), display magnificently his bandoneon technique, above all his astonishing sensitivity and his equal skill with both hands. Troilo’s affection for strenuous night life and his taste for whisky gradually undermined his health, but he never lost his status as a popular idol, shown in the public grief occasioned by his death.
(b ?Toulouse, Dec 1890; d Medellín, 24 June 1935). Argentine composer and tango singer. Although Gardel's origins have been widely debated, he was probably born in Toulouse in 1890; in 1893 he and his mother emigrated to Buenos Aires. Together with the Uruguayan singer José Razzano, he formed a duo in 1911, which lasted until 1925. About 1917 Gardel performed and recorded Samuel Castriota's popular tango tune Lita, under the title Mi noche triste (to words by Pascual Contursi). By the early 1920s he was firmly established as Argentina's leading tango singer, and several successful European tours followed. He was killed in a plane crash in 1935.
Gardel's chief contribution was to popularize the sung tango, although both his career and songs were criticized by some as lacking a critical, political thrust. In addition to recording almost 900 songs, he appeared in several classic films; his best-known compositions include El día que me quieras, Mi Buenos Aires querido, Por una cabeza, Volver, Silencio and Cuesta abajo. Gardel's impact was profound: a product of the arrabal (districts) who came to symbolize the fulfilment of the dreams of the Argentine porteño (from the port, i.e. Buenos Aires), he remains a crucial figure, ‘the tango made flesh’ as described by the singer Libertad Lamarque.