Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

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RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

You are "tortured" (and my quotation marks are not thrown at random) with irrelevant to the topic of the thread questions, Vic. So, I guess you discover the riddles; you know the answers too.

So far, in this thread, nobody has, apparently, anything to say on Astor Piazzolla's music. So, you (not only you Vic) "enjoy" deviating, distracting and dealing with my "enigmatic" posts, rather than trying to discover the music of a potential interesting composer (and then, possibly, contribute with your developing view). I never anticipated that a topic on Piazzolla would be such a riddle, but I guess neither do you.

Anyway, we'll see...

Parla

 

RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

parla wrote:
my quotation marks are not thrown at random

parla wrote:
So, you (not only you Vic) "enjoy" deviating, distracting and
dealing with my "enigmatic" posts

Audio Editor, Gramophone

RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

Still, dealing with my "quotation marks" (also at random?), Andrew?

If you read carefully Vic's post, you'll see he used these two words (enjoy and enigmatic) which, by repeating them, I used them in quotation marks. Is this, anyway, such a big deal?

In any case, do you have anything to say on the substance of this topic, Andrew, beyond the proper (or pedantic) use of quotation marks?

Parla

RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

While acknowledging that Astor Piazzolla was a gifted composer who created a unique sound world I am at a loss to comprehend the constant theme of greatness which seems to permeate this forum these days. Why does eveything have to be categorised as great to have some validity? I read the discussion on Beethoven with often perplexed bewilderment and frustration but did not contribute as I would no doubt have been pilloried for my indifference and antipathy to much of Beethoven's output. It's unlikely after over 40 years exposure to his music that I am going to change now. I wonder sometimes what is the point of evaluating a composers work when there are people waiting in the wings to discredit any opinion one has the temerity to express. Parla has already labelled Piazzolla as a great composer so any discension from that view will likely be met with derision, condescension or worse. Some forum this is turning out to be. No wonder so many forum members have left or have given up contributing.

RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

Eventually, after 17 posts, we have two on the matter of this topic. Thanks a lot P and Caballe.

P, Piazzolla's music is not cafe (or much more cabaret), even in his (what you may find lighter) side, even if he wanted to depict the life in the cafes of his country in the past (see and listen to his Histoire de Tango, a suite for Flute or Violin and Guitar). He didn't write a Symphony, but he composed symphonic orchestral works, like the symphonic poem Tangazo, the fine and progressive Symphonietta, the three orchestral pieces, his Concerto of Bandoneon, the Concerto for Guitar, Bandoneon and String Orchestra as well as his masterpiece, the Four Seasons (of Buenos Aires) for String Orchestra.

He did compose an Opera as well, the unique Maria de Buenos Aires. A rather short but very substantive musically work, based, almost entirely, on the tango tradition!

His music is inspired not generally by the "dance", but his beloved argentinian tango tradition, which, like any great and true to his roots composer, he wanted to elevated to the art form. So, his music, though lighter or "dance inspired", is a serious nationalist one. Of course, he never imagined to become an atonal austrian composer as Schoenberg (despite in his compositions he resorts to polytonality and atonality) or a complex Polish one or even a Hungarian master of their own nationalistic roots. However, he was very happy to see his music, even in his whatever we may call lighter stuff, to be embraced all over the world (people got crazy in Africa with Libertango, others went nuts with Addios Nonino in Asia, audience felt extremely moved with Oblivion in extreme and irrrelevant parts of Europe or even in US). So, that's why I called him a great composer for all times. You don't have to be specially prepared to listen to his music (I have to admit, after so much exposure to music, I need a very "strong stomach" to get to the listening experience of a Penderecki or even Schoenberg and, in some cases, Bartok).

Caballe, I didn't labelled Piazzolla as a great composer. There is already a question mark there, inviting views about the opposite, provided that they are developed and they are not mere opinions of an inexplicable taste. Greatness is not needed to give any validity to just any composer of anytime; it is needed to reward those who contributed more than others to the development of the Classical Music. So, it's your prerogative to dislike or even detest Beethoven, but you have to recognise his role and significance in the field. Otherwise, we create, in a field of utmost excellence and brilliance, a flat platform where any composer can go, as long as some people like him/her, regardless of any other feature or qualification. Exchange of views (and not necessarily of mere opinions) are useful, if they can lead to a common ground, where the holders of the opinions/views may communicate in a way to comprehend each other, on a common basis of understanding.

Music is a specific Art and Classical Music has very specific texture and rules to be ignored or overlooked.

Parla

RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

The shorter pieces by Piazzolla are splendid, for example on Barenboim's CD but his "4 Seasons" I find terribly tedious  even at only about 30': Piazzolla can't orchestrate and he can't develop, just repeat the same few melodies again and again. It's worse than Glass because there's no invention and no surprises at all.

Adrian

RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

Surprising! Somebody who finds "superb" what others claim light or dance inspired or even cafe/cabaret type of music.

Greater surprise, all the rest : The Four Seasons are terribly tredious, while any musician I know (in any possible way) adores and considers it as a masterpiece, with its greater exponent Gidon Kremer!

Piazzolla can't orchestrate, but his Tangazo, Sinfonietta, Maria de Buenos Aires, his Concertos are not orchestrated by others, but by himself.

He can't develop, while he uses most of the classic forms of composition, mostly sonata (with or without development), fantasia (the two themes blended in using different ways of composition leading to polytonality or even atonality), variations etc.

He repeat the same few (how many can one expect in each piece of music, particularly in 20th century compositions, where melody is in scarcity) melodies... If the sonata form or fantasia require the repetion (or recapitulation) of the two themes involved, then, so be it. Audiences all over the world never complained about repetitive music of glorious themes and melodies that many composers would envy.

"No invention, no surprise". I have to dare to ask you, Adrian3, how much of Piazzolla's outrput you have listened to and which works in particular?

Parla

RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

Sincerely sorry, Atonal, if I didn't consider your posts as...to the point, but, if I have to remember, in your three posts, you mention: "Errrr, no" (in the question whether you know Piazzolla's music), "cafe-style music" (showing your instant, occasional hearing of his music), "I'm not familiar with his music", "after hearing (not even listening) his instrument, the Bandoneon, I shan't be listening further".

So, maybe, we got each other wrong, but, anyway, you admit you don't know (at least well) Piazzolla and, therefore, your contribution, though always welcome, didn't add a developing view on his music rather than it is a "cafe-style" one (which is not, it is played anywhere, predominantly in  concert halls).

As for my way of approaching different responses by forum members, of course, it's your prerogative to take them as you wish, but I never plan to impose any position but rather to see how far a debate can go in exchanging developing views (not mere opinions, thrown at random and at will). A vibrant forum is the one who can lead to some kind of conclusion and not an exchange of "that's good, oh no, that was not? I enjoyed that, no I didn't and so on).

Finally, this adjective of "Great" I use (of course not exclusively) is to show that, regardless which composer or work we might like or even adore, we have always to bear in mind what is the musical impact of them on the rest of the world or, at least, outside our own microcosmos.

Again, my apologies for any misunderstanding or, even worse, for unintentionally hurting your feelings (you may imagine how I should feel, as I am almost constantly "attacked"...).

Au revoir, cher ami,

Parla

RE: RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

parla wrote:
As for my way of approaching different responses by forum members, of course, it's your prerogative to take them as you wish, but I never plan to impose any position but rather to see how far a debate can go in exchanging developing views (not mere opinions, thrown at random and at will). A vibrant forum is the one who can lead to some kind of conclusion and not an exchange of "that's good, oh no, that was not? I enjoyed that, no I didn't and so on).

I suspect that the difficulty you have had in getting this discussion going reflects people’s growing irritation at your self-serving attempts to monopolise all discussions with your pretentious and egotistical ramblings.

You start off with a obscure and minor composer (what little I’ve heard of his music sounds to me like the sort of musak they play in hotel lobbies) and suggest he’s a ‘great’ composer. And the only question that this begs of course is what is meant by the term ‘great’ in this context. Since this is a question for which we will never reach an agreed position, the entire discussion will quickly become entirely circular and pointless.

 

At some point someone will point this out – that greatness is largely a matter of opinion – at which point you will get on your favourite hobby horse and state that it’s an objective fact, albeit one which can only be perceived by someone of your sensitivity and expertise.

It won’t be long before you start with your portentous but meaningless attempts to provide a logical basis for such a position – eg: ‘Piazzolla's greatness lies in his musical truth’, as if the phrase ‘musical truth’ meant anything. You’ll never – not once – concede that your arguments lack validity or logical substance, because your only interest is in demonstrating your pretention rather than listening to what other people might have to say.

 

As to your purported expertise, we have hard evidence that you are not adverse to simply cutting and pasting information from Wikipedia and passing it off as your own knowledge and you might well have done the same for Piazzolla (I can’t be bothered to check).  Again why should anyone wish to enter into a serious debate with someone who is so manifestly – and shamefacedly – dishonest?

 

And one other thing, you also refuse to acknowledge that music other than classical can be its equal in quality and achievement (you must recall your absurd statements about Paul Simon). You decline in other words to listen to non-classical music with an open mind but instead stick to your narrow and blinkered view of music. There is a word for people like that and it’s a word that fits you perfectly: you are a philistine.

RE: Astor Piazzolla : a great composer for all times?

I'm not aware at all which is this recording of "the Four Seasons" with this MAV (on which label by the way), but I will urge you to listen to some more authoritative ones (either by Kremer or Accardo or some Argentinian orchestra). By the way, in your beloved Barenboim CD (with the shorter superb pieces), there are two (short) arrangements of the two of the Four Seasons (Invierno Porteno and one more)! So among the "bums", count Barenboim too along with Kremer, Accardo, YoYo Ma, Gallois, Artemis Quartet, quite a few renown Chamber Ensembles and String Orchestras.

Parla

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