Luis Di Matteo is one of the great bandoneonistas from South America. Living in Montevideo, Uruguay, Di Matteo has carried bandoneon music the furthest in a classical direction after the death of Astor Piazzolla. From the very beginning of his musical career he has shown an impressive independence in his musical thinking and concert performances.
Luis Di Matteo was born in 1934. He began his musical education at the conservatory in his native city Montevideo Uruguay. In 1962 he founded his first ensemble and in 198 he gave his first performances in Europe. Between 1983 and 1986 he cooperated with the music conservatory of Detmold, Germany. In 1987 he wrote the music for the Swedish film production Black Dawn/Los Dueños del Silencio. He took the opportunity of working and recording with a string orchestra for the first time in 199/91. In the Russian city of Uljanowsk (Lenin’s birthplace) he recorded compositions of his own with the chamber soloists of the Uljanowsk National Symphony Orchestra. The premier of his latest major composition Concierto para contrabajo y orquesta de cuerdas (Concert for double bass and string orchestra) performed by the Montevideo Philharmonic Orchestra took place in Montevideo in the summer of 1995.
The combination of strings and bandoneon have had a long tradition in South America: since the triumphal career of the bandoneon (invented by the German Karl Band) began there in the middle of the 19th century strings have been an integral part of the “orchesta típica” (two bandoneons two fiddles acoustic bass and a piano). However Matteo’s intensive collaboration with strings denotes a decisive step forward in the development of bandoneon music. He has broken with the old cliché that forever tied the bandoneon to the sweet and painful sound of the Tango. Instead Di Matteo in his compositions for this rather difficult instrument has found a form of personal expression that clearly places him within the Western music tradition.
Di Matteo has not only been influenced by traditional South American music but also increasingly by classical music including the modern masters such as Arnold Schönberg. With his compositions for bandoneon and strings he opens our eyes for a new look at the bandoneon’s possibilities of expression.
Argentine bandoneon player, composer and arranger Rodolfo Mederos was born March 25, 1940 in Río de la Plata.
As a composer, Rodolfo Mederos covers a wide spectrum, from traditional tango to symphonic pieces for different instrumental groups. As a performer, he expresses deep-felt musicality. In the 1970s Mederos was one of the few tango musicians who collaborated with progressive rock musicians. Todo Hoy is an example of this kind of work.
Mederos is also a teacher and writer of both bandoneon-related matters as well as tango composition and orchestration.
He lived in Cuba and France and then returned to Argentina, where he founded the influential Generación Cero.
Rodolfo Mederos has collaborated with numerous Argentine artists as well as flamenco vocalists Miguel Poveda and Enrique Morente.
Born in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Pablo Mainetti is one of the best-known and most respected bandoneon players in the world. He completed his studies of bandoneon, harmony and composition before specializing in chamber and contemporary music.
Throughout the course of his career he has recorded and played with all of the top tango artists in the Rio De La Plata area and has worked under the direction of masters Beba Pugliese, Nestor Marconi, Daniel Binelli, Rodolfo Mederos and Rodolfo Alchurrin.
He has performed in festivals such as the Spanish-American Encounters of Bogota, the Cervantino and Tango festivals of Granada, as well as the Argentina Week and the Universal Exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal. In 1996, Harmonia Mundi released Concerto for Bandoneon, his tribute to Astor Piazzolla.
* Astor Piazzolla Tango – Concerto for Bandoneon, with Orquesta de Cambra (Harmonia Mundi, 1996)
* Gran Hotel Victoria (Epsa Music, 2000)
Compartiendo Tangos, with Orquesta Sinfónica Provincial de Bahía Blanca (1999)
* Tres Rincones (2004)
* Tango Reflections Trío, with Adrián Iaies and Horacio Fumero (2005)
* Complicidad, with César Angeleri (Acqua Records, 2006)
* Borges poeta –Voces–, with Inda Ledesma – Oscar Martínez (2009)
* Partes de la suma (2011)
* Un Puñado De Buenos Tangos, with César Angeleri
* Amaramara, with Cristina Banegas (2016)
Bandoneonist and master of the complex Argentine tango, maestro Juan José Mosalini was born in 1943 into a craftsman’s family who were passionate about music.
Juan Jose Mosalini started playing the bandoneon at the age of eight. Through his father’s influence, he absorbed the popular, traditional music of Argentina.
The young Mosalini was a professional musician by the time he was 17, after winning first prize in a competition “Nace una estrella” (A star is born) organized by Buenos Aires Television in 1961.
From 1962 to 1976, he composed, arranged, played and accompanied, working with the greatest orchestras and soloists in Argentina, including Astor Piazzolla, with whom he became close friend. During this period he founded the Guardia Nueva Quintet, which was to be one of the richest and must original experiences of the avant-garde tango phenomenon.
In 1977 he chose France as his new musical home, where he started to work with other Argentinean musicians. He formed the group Tiempo Argentino, which was received enthusiastically by the press. They completed several European tours and appeared at major Parisian venues, including the Palais des Arts and l’Olympia.
In 1978, in an innovative and experimental mode, Juan Jose Mosalini made a recording of solo bandoneon music. The recording (prefaced by Julio Codézar) revealed a musician in true dialogue with his instrument, delivering a blend of poetry and virtuosity. It was unanimously well reviewed and established Mosalini as a major artist.
In 1980, he founded a new ensemble, Canyengue, and then in 1982 the celebrated Mosalini-Beytelmann-Caratini Trio (bandoneon/piano/double bass), who went on to tour every continent, becoming particularly popular in the United States.
In 1983 Juan Jose Mosalini made a CD “Bordona” with the Trio, and in the following year he took part in the World Music Meeting in Baden-Baden as representative of Argentina, which also resulted in the recording of a CD.
Juan Jose Mosalini subsequently composed the music for a number of films, including “Double Face” and “Le Quatrième Pouvoir” by Serge Leroy, and two by director Stéphane Kurc: “Le Génie du faux” and “Un Coeur de marbre”, a four-part film for French television. At this time he also began to write a bandoneon method, commissioned by the French Minister of Culture.
1987 saw the release of “Imagenes” Trio’s second CD, on the “Label Bleu”, and in 1988 Juan Jose Mosalini started working on a Bandoneon Collection for music publishers Henry Lemoine. In 1989, he inaugurated the first European bandoneon course at the Gennevilliers Conservatory in Paris, where he has been teaching ever since.
With the flautist Enzo Gieco, and guitarist Atahualpa Yupanqui writing the libretto, he composed the cantata ‘La Parole Sacrée’, which had its first performance on June 21, 1989 at the Palais des Congrès in Nanterre, as part of the celebrations on the Bicentenary of the French Revolution.
In 1992 Juan Jose Mosalini started his Grand Orchestre de Tango, which has since appeared all over the world : Japan, USA (February 98, July 99 at the Hollywood Bowl), Sicily, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway ( several times from 1994 to 2000), Belgium, Canada (Montreal, Toronto), Greece (at the Megaron, Athens), Switzerland, Tunisia, and in France. He also released his second solo album, “Che Bandoneon”, and composed “Casi un Tango” (state commissioned).
In 1993 he toured Germany with the guitarist Roberto Aussel, and wrote compositions for tango orchestra and children’s choir with Enzo Gieco. In 1994 the Grand Orchestre de Tango released the CD ‘Bordoneo y 900″. Mosalini formed a quintet in the same year with the violinist Antonio Agri, and after Agri’s death, with his son Pablo Agri. The quintet appeared with great success in Japan, England and France.
His 1999 composition “Paris-Tango”, a choral poem on the words of Horacio Ferrer, in an arrangement by guitarist Leonardo Sénchez, had its debut with the Victoria Regional Choir under the baton of Michel Piquemal.
His passion for music in all its forms has brought him to work closely with classical musicians, leading to the discovery of a vast and perfectly adapted repertoire, particularly with string orchestra and symphony orchestra. Juan Jose Mosalini has played as soloist with the Enesco Quarter, the Orchestra de Picardie, the Orchestra National de Lille, the Orchestra National Bordeaux-Aquitaine, the Orchestra of Hong Kong, Spring Festival), the Bourgogne Camerata, the Orchestre de Radio-France, the Symphony Orchestra of Munich.
He recorded with Bass Normandie’s orchestra and the guitarist Leonardo Sanchez his own creation named “Outdoor and Urban Fantasies”.
At the ‘Buenos Aires Tango” Festival, Juan Jose Mosalini was awarded the Buenos Aires City Medal, in recognition of his work in the dissemination of Argentinean music throughout the world.
He recorded an album for the label Mañana, with the Strings Quartet Benaim named “Classic and Modern”, with Gustavo Beytelmann’s original compositions.
Dino Saluzzi is one of the leading bandoneon players in the world. Timoteo “Dino” Saluzzi was born in Campo Santo in northern Argentina and led his first group at the age of 14. He began to play professionally while studying in Buenos Aires. It was in Buenos Aires, too, that he met and befriended Astor Piazzolla as the term “tango nuevo” began to gain currency.
Even though Piazzolla and Saluzzi always respected each other’s work, Dino has never cared to put a label on his own work. But he has emphasized in numerous interviews that his is not an “art music” but a music that comes out of life and attempts to express the emotions, thoughts and memories that accompany it. And this has remained as true of the work that stresses primarily his compositional projects such as the ongoing Kultrum collaboration with the Rosamunde Quartett – as it is of work in which improvisation has a larger role to play, as on Senderos.
From his first ECM album, recorded in 1982, Saluzzi’s music was well received by the world’s press.
In 1997 at the ECM Festival in Badenweiler, Germany, Dino Saluzzi and Jon Christensen, bandoneonist and drummer, came together originally to play music of Krzysztof Komeda with trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. The line-up, also included saxophonist John Surman, violinist Michelle Makarski and bassist Anders Jormin, went on to play on Stanko’s prize-winning album From the Green Hill and toured extensively.
“That was an interesting band but difficult to present live because Dino often plays so quietly,” said Christensen. “As a drummer I actually like that, bringing the volume level right down. It’s very good for intense listening. And in fact you can play quietly and very dynamically. Anyway, Dino and I qot to be very good friends on the Stanko tours, we have a very good understanding. Of course, rm never going to be a tango drummer (laughter) and fortunately Dino doesn’t want that. I know he also appreciates the possibility just to play very openly and to see what happens…”
Senderos (paths in Spanish) is one of the most spontaneously-conceived of all Saluzzi’s albums. The Argentine master musician was in Oslo, working on another project in November 2002, when producer Manfred Eicher first proposed an immediate start upon a new solo album. “And then I got a phone call,” drummer Jon Christensen recalls, “How about coming over and adding some cymbals on a few tracks?’ And then it was, ‘Well, why don’t the two of you play a few things together?’ And about three hours later, we realized we’d made an album. I love to work this way, and it seems only to happen with this record company.”
On Senderos, you can almost hear the artists thinking aloud as they shape the music in the moment. Ten of the album’s pieces are duets. Some are Dino’s songs, some are freely improvised. There are also four solo bandoneon pieces that seem to melt with nostalgia for the simple life which Saluzzi left behind so long ago in the village of Campo Santo.
In recent years Dino Saluzzi has toured and recorded primarily with his son, guitarist José Maria Saluzzi, the two of them playing in trios with Marc Johnson (Cite de la Musique) and Palle Danielsson (Responsorium).
Ojos Negros was Saluzzi’s 2007 release. It is chamber music with inspirational roots in Argentine traditions, putting the emphasis on Dino Saluzzi’s finely-crafted compositions and adds the beautiful old tango by Vicente Greco that is the album’s title track. Interplay and improvisation also have roles to play in a recording that follows six years of duo concerts as well as ten years of collaboration between bandoneon master Saluzzi and the Rosamunde Quartet, of which cellist Anja Lechner is a founder member. They have taken their time to get this right.
A classical musician firstly, Anja Lechner’s interest in tango goes back some 25 years, when she formed a duo with pianist Peter Ludwig to play their German interpretations of the idiom. She gave her first concerts in Argentina in the early 1980s and made a point of looking for tango’s master musicians. But she first encountered Dino Saluzzi at a Munich concert where he played solo bandoneon. “He was playing a music that was really his own. When we finally began to play together I can say that I entered a new world.”
The shared work has been a gradual process of becoming freer with the material while respecting it, resulting in a very integrated music. Saluzzi praises the cellist’s commitment and stylistic independence: “Anja has become part of the music without losing her own identity. I think this is very important. She doesn’t try to imitate the tango players. She has her own sound and character, and this makes our project together culturally richer.”
De Vuelta a Salta (RCA Camden, 1972)
La Cerrillana, with Los Chalchaleros (RCA Victor, 1972)
Bandoneón Tierra Adentro – Vol. 1 (RCA Camdon, 1973)
Bandoneón Tierra Adentro – Vol. 2 (RCA Victor, 1975)
Dedicatoria (Melopea, 1977)
Bermejo (Microfón, 1980) Kultrum (ECM, 1982)
Once Upon a Time – Far Away in the South (ECM, 1985) Volver with Enrico Rava (ECM, 1986) Andina (ECM, 1988)
Argentina (West Wind Latina, 1991)
Mojotoro (ECM, 1991) Rios, with Anthony Cox and David Friedman (veraBra, 1995) Cité de la Musique (ECM, 1996) Kultrum with the Rosamunde Quartett (ECM, 1998) Responsorium (ECM, 2001) Senderos (ECM, 2002) Juan Condori (ECM, 2005)
Trio Tage, with George Gruntz and Thierry Lang (PJL, 2005) Ojos Negros, with Anja Lechner (ECM, 2006) El Encuentro (ECM, 2009) Navidad de Los Andes, with Anja Lechner and Felix Saluzzi (ECM, 2011) El Valle de la Infancia (ECM, 2014)
Argentina’s Daniel Binelli is an internationally renowned composer and master of the bandoneon, acclaimed as the foremost exponent and torchbearer of the music of Astor Piazzolla. In fact, in 1989, he joined Piazzolla´s New Tango Sextet and toured internationally.
Binelli continues to perform extensively in concert and recital around the world, with many great ensembles, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Montreal Symphony, Ottawa Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic (Ohio) and St. Petersburg Symphony (Russia).
However, not enough people know that Daniel Binelli is a superb composer in his own right, and has created and arranged music for solo instruments, quintet, chamber and symphony orchestras, dance and film music.
Symphony and large ensemble works include Homenaje Al Tango for piano, bandoneon &strings and also for symphony orchestra, Preludio Y Candombe for bandoneon & piano with orchestra, Tres Movimientos Concertantes for bandoneon with orchestra and Concierto No 1 for piano with orchestra.
Chamber works include
* ‘Un Bandoneon En Paris’ for bandoneon, piano & strings
* ‘Tango De Los Cuadros’ for piano, bandoneon, string quartet and also for bandoneon & piano
* ‘Fueyazo’ for bandoneon, string quartet, bass, also for bandoneon, piano, violin, electric guitar, bass
* ‘Metropolis’ for bandoneon & string quartet and also for bandoneon, cello, bass, piano, violin
* ‘Un Tango En La Noche’ for bandoneon & string quartet
* ‘Imagenes De Buenos Aires’ for bandoneon, piano, electric guitar, bass, violin
* ‘Al Pintor Aldo Severi’ bandoneon & piano, also for bandoneon, violin, bass, electric guitar, piano and also for bandoneon, piano, string quintet, to say nothing of the works for solo bandoneon.
He has also composed, among other works, ‘Romance Del Mandolin Y La Guitarra’ for mandolin & guitar and ‘Azul Profundo” for flute and guitar, as well as a fine catalog of works for solo piano.
Some of the many international orchestras, ensembles, Tango companies and soloists that have commissioned and/or performed works from Daniel Binelli include the Zurich Symphony (Switzerland), Edmonton Symphony (Canada), Buffalo Philharmonic (New York), Colorado Music Festival, Montevideo Philharmonic, Colombia Symphony, and Buglisi/Foreman Dance Company (New York) as well as Osvaldo Pugliese Orquesta Tipica (Argentina) and Tango 7 (Switzerland).
He was commissioned by Utah State University for a concerto for piano, bandoneon and orchestra and his Golden Gate Fantasy was funded by a grant from the American Music Center.
Additionally, Binelli has composed music for the Argentine films ‘India Pravile,’ ‘Funes un Gran Amor’ and ‘Tango Baile Nuestro.’
A very good place to hear his music, as well as to experience his superb bandoneon artistry, is to catch his Tango Metropolis ensemble on tour.
* Piazzolla Hoy, with Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colón, Conductor: José Carli (EMI, 1993)
* ¡ Tango !, with Daniel Binelli’s Septet (Dorian, 1994)
* Piazzolla Classics (Tango Sensations) (Milan, 1994)
* Atardecer Antiguo / Bandoneón, with Hugo Romero (Melopea, 1996)
* Piazzollando ao vivo (Kuarup, 1997)
* Borges & Piazzolla (Milan, 1997)
* Milva El tango de Astor Piazzolla, with Quinteto Argentino de Daniel Binelli (King Records, 1998) released in Japan
* Argentine Masters (Testigo, 1998)
* El Bandoneón (Random, 1999)
* El Tango, with Cecilia Rossetto (Black Sun, 1999)
* Encuentros…con el Tango, with Alicia Terzian & el Grupo Encuentros (Dom, 1999)
* La Música Argentina y el Tango, with Eduardo Issac (King Records, 2000) released in Japan
* Rojotango, with Cecilia Rossetto (La Casona)
* Tangazo, with Charles Dutoit y la Orquesta Sinfónica de Montreal (Decca, 2001)
* Imágenes, with Polly Ferman (Romeo Records, 2002)
* Tangos de Buenos Aires, with Linda Lee Thomas (CBC, 2002)
* Tango Metrópolis, with Daniel Binelli’s Quintet (2002)
* Imágenes, with Polly Ferman (EPSA Music, 2002)
* Orquestango, with Polly Ferman & Filarmónica de Montevideo (Sondor, 2003)
* Tango Natural, with César Angeleri (Random, 2003)
Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla was born in the coastal city of Mar Del Plata, Argentina, in March of 1921. His parents were immigrants from southern Italy. Astor Piazzolla’s father, Vicente “Nonino” Piazzolla, was a storekeeper and craftsman. His mother, Asunta Mainetti, was a hairdresser and seamstress.
When he was three years old, he moved to New York City with his father. He lived there between 1924 and 1937, with a brief return to Mar del Plata in 1930. At age 9, his father gave him a bandoneon, which he had bought at a pawn shop for 19 dollars, as a birthday present. His father missed Argentina and its memorable tangos so he was interested in having his son learn how to play this popular musical style.
The young Astor Piazzolla learned how to play the bandoneon by himself, while he was living in the Bronx, in New York City. At the time, he played harmonica and his favorite musical genre was jazz. One of his neighbors, Hungarian pianist Bela Wilda (a disciple of Rachmaninov), introduced him to the music of Bach. Piazzolla liked that music so much that he tried to play with the bandoneon. Since he did not know how to read music, Wilda taught him to how to read and compose music. During the next four years, the only music Piazzolla played was classical music.
He was only thirteen years old when Carlos Gardel, the great Argentine tango singer and composer, heard him in New York and asked him to play in several recordings for his movie “El Día Que Me Quieras.” Gardel was so impressed with Piazzolla’s performance that he offered him the opportunity of touring with him throughout South America. Piazzolla rejected the offer and in 1937 he returned to Buenos Aires.
At 18, Piazzolla started playing the accordion and worked as an arranger for Anibal Troilo’s orchestra. In 1940 he composed a piece for Arthur Rubinstein, who was in Buenos Aires on tour. Rubinstein recognized Piazzolla’s talent and encouraged him to study composition with Alberto Ginastera, a famous Argentine classical music composer. Piazzolla studied eight years with Alberto Ginastera.
It was in 1946 when Piazzolla formed his own group to express his radical musical ideas, while at the same time he composed for the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra. Astor Piazzolla started an important revolution in the world of tango between 1946 and 1948, by taking it from the dance floors to the concert halls.
In 1950 Piazzolla left the orchestra to dedicate himself exclusively to composing. He started to win numerous composition awards in Argentina, the United States and France, where he was granted a scholarship to study with Nadia Boulanger. It was Boulanger who advised Piazzolla not to abandon his folk music roots. After returning from France, Piazzolla formed the famous Octeto (Octect) that revolutionized the music scene in Buenos Aires.
In 1956 he started performing tango concerts, developing a new perspective based in traditional tango. His concept was that tango is music to be listened to, not just music for dancing. This “Tango Nuevo” (New Tango) is a unique mix of traditional tango and the classical tradition. Astor Piazzolla took a folk music genre and created a complex interaction with classical music and jazz, creating forms such as contrapunto (counterpoint), fuga (fugue), and improvisation.
Astor Piazzolla composed soundtracks for movies, operas, and music for television. He recorded over 40 albums and traveled throughout the globe, playing at some of the most important performing arts centers in the world.
Astor Piazzolla suffered a brain hemorrhage in Paris in 1990. He never recovered and died in Buenos Aires on July 4th of 1992.
In 2000 Oxford University Press published Astor Piazzolla, his Life and Music. The book was translated to Spanish and published in 2002 by El Ateneo de Buenos Aires. In 2003 Amadeus Press published A Memoir by journalist Natalio Gorin, who was Astor Piazzola’s friend for nearly two decades.