Tribute to Astor Piazzolla
The year 2021 marked the centenary of the birth of a composer who was both unclassifiable and highly identified, a symbol of his native Argentina but also of the French school of composition of the 20th century, the author of a music nourished by transgressions and improbable alliances: Astor Piazzolla.
Astor Piazzolla was born in Mar del Plata in 1921. He discovered the bandoneon at a very young age and quickly became one of its greatest virtuosos. If he is quickly made known by making dance his Argentinian compatriots in the innumerable milongas of Buenos Aires, his immense talent cannot be satisfied well a long time with this destiny of “musician of ball”.
Although he was very successful in Argentina, he chose to fly to Paris and enroll in composition classes with the greatest teacher of the time: Nadia Boulanger. She trained him in classical composition but also convinced him not to renounce his instrument and his popular culture.
She advised him to write new music for the bandoneon, to put his knowledge as a composer of learned music at the service of the renewal of this profoundly popular repertoire that is the Tango: the Nuevo Tango was born. Piazzolla reinvented this repertoire and became one of the most played composers of the 20th century throughout the world.
If Astor upset the course of the history of the bandoneon, he will at the same time deeply influence the future of his “cousin” so popular and present in France: the accordion. The one nicknamed the piano with straps is not the king of the milongas but of the bal musette in France. Famous and popular, he is, but it still seems inconceivable to make a place for him in the world of classical music: Piazzolla will change everything. His work will influence the new generations of accordionists and reshuffle the cards of the future of the accordion.
Aware of this history and of this immense heritage, Félicien Brut could not let this anniversary year pass without paying tribute to the great Piazzolla. He therefore initiated the constitution of a quintet, one of Astor’s favorite formations, by gathering around him four friends and wonderful musicians of his generation: Thomas Enhco, Thibaut Garcia, Édouard Macarez and Jordan Victoria.
Together they offer a program that of course gives pride of place to Piazzolla’s compositions for quintet, from the Four Seasons of the Port of Buenos Aires to Escualo, through the Angel Suite. But to pay tribute to a musician who wrote so much, these five friends also wanted to give a place to creation in their program.
Thomas Enhco, who is not only an exceptional musician but also a talented composer, has agreed to write especially for this unusual group in the classical world and has imagined the piece Vol de Nuit.