From Venice to Argentina, experience four seasons of masterful musicalby Hot Off The Press (Release) on Jan. 02, 2013, under Press Releases
Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and Tucson Symphony Orchestra present 2013 MasterWorks Concert Series for Northwest Tucson at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Dec. 31, 2012— Although born more than three centuries ago, Antonio Vivaldi is known to both music enthusiasts and novices. His famed composition “The Four Seasons” is, as well, a familiar piece, interpreting spring to winter through instrumental melodies of singing birds, thunder storms and roaring fires to escape the cold.
However, few have heard its tango-like ally, to be performed during the next MasterWorks performance presented by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance on Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m., the “Four Seasons of Buenes Aires” by Astor Piazzolla.
While Piazzolla occasionally quotes Vivaldi (in “Summer” and especially in “Winter”) Buenos Aires’ climate is mild without the drastic seasonal fluctuations of Venice. The four movements of Piazzolla’s suite describe the vagaries of human emotions rather than the weather.
Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s string orchestra will perform the virtuosic Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” featuring guest conductor Michael Hall and violinist Danielle Belen followed by the smoldering “Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” by Piazzolla, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte.
Astor Piazzolla (1916-1983)
Everyone knows that it takes two to tango, but no one can agree on the origin of the dance. For 150 years its characteristic Latin rhythm has been shaped and adapted to nearly every Spanish-speaking national culture.
The arrabal, the squalid immigrant slum of the late nineteenth century outside Buenos Aires, bred its own version of the tango. A popular song, laced with bitter urban protest, had by the 1930s developed into a pessimistic expression of a fatalistic, melodramatic outlook on love and life. It was into this world that the parents of Piazzolla arrived from Italy, and it was the music of the arrabal that shaped Piazzolla’s entire career.
During the Depression, Piazzolla’s family moved to New York, where he learned piano and the bandoneón, a type of concertina with 38 notes that had become the predominant instrument in the tango ensembles of Argentina. After a sojourn in Paris, studying composition with no less an eminence that Nadia Boulanger, Piazzolla returned to Argentina to form his first Tango Octet and later his renowned Tango Quintet, featuring bandoneón, violin, piano, electric guitar and bass.
Influenced by his studies in Paris and by classical forms, Piazzolla developed a unique style that he called the “nuevo tango” (new tango) and a cut above the traditional tangos. No longer dance music, Piazzolla’s tango became concert music, although for the nightclub rather than the concert hall. The psychological intensity and sophistication of his music so infuriated the traditionalists that he was repeatedly physically assaulted and even threatened with a gun to his head during a radio broadcast.
Piazzolla not only took his influences from classical, folk and jazz music but has also served as an inspiration to such jazz artists as Jerry Mulligan and Chick Corea. His tangos have been also been arranged for classical violinist Gidon Kramer and for the eclectic Kronos Quartet, among other classical ensembles.
Interactive program notes
New this year, Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and Tucson Symphony Orchestra have made interactive program notes available to view online before the performance. The trial can be accessed at www.SAACA.org and clicking on “Tucson Symphony” under the “Concerts” heading and scrolling down to January’s “The Four Seasons” concert.
Visitors can click on musical icons to hear the sections of music being discussed. The brief audios will help recall Vivaldi’s instrumental sound of the season, while the interactive experience of the Piazolla seasons will prepare listeners for music which is most likely to be new to them.
MasterWorks Concert Series – The Four Seasons
When: Friday, Jan. 11 – 7:30 p.m. concert, 6:30 p.m. pre-concert chat
Where: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo del Norte
Cost: Starting at $49 per seat, with subscription discounts available
Phone: (520) 797-3959
NOTE TO MEDIA: More photos available upon request
About the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance
The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) is a not-for-profit organization that exists to ensure that, through engagement in arts and culture, our communities produce strong, inspired citizens. SAACA enlists artists, businesses, governments, and individuals to expand artistic and cultural opportunities in their respective communities. To enhance access to the arts and to promote cultural awareness in the communities it serves, SAACA presents large-scale festivals, events and other programs. The Alliance also promotes educational opportunities in the arts and culture for both the young and the old.
The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) grew out of the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council (GOVAC), an organization established in 1997 to provide artistic and cultural opportunities for residents of northwest Tucson. GOVAC eventually became one of the largest arts organizations in the region. In 2009, owing to its success, the group expanded its mission to include creation of partnerships with business, governments, and communities throughout Southern Arizona that would encourage innovative, creative cultural expression in the arts for years to come.
For more information about programs and events produced by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, go to www.saaca.org.