Tuesday, 21 July 2009

More music notes

I'm afraid I under-represented Emilio Balcarce. I wrote that he was ...'an octogenarian who takes on a new orquesta, directs it, and writes its repertoire'. But he is also a composer (Bien Compadre, Si Sos Brujo, La Bordona among others) – and he played bandoneon with the Orquesta Escuela too. Although he often conducted them, you may hear a bandoneon that is incredibly expressive, that really sings, that has an incredibly fine sense of volume and a marvelously supple sense of rhythm, and that may well be Emilio Balcarce. A truly extraordinary musician.

Fabio Cernuda, a bandoneonista from Buenos Aires, recently completed a discography of music recorded by tango musicians: it took him 20 years. Between 1902 and 1992, 90 years of accoustic recording, he found an astonishing 70,000 tracks were recorded. Not all of them still exist as records, unfortunately, but what an achievement. In terms of duration that's about 5,000 full-length classical symphonies: in terms of quantity, in a single century Buenos Aires may have produced almost as much music as the whole of Europe in three centuries. Perhaps that's indicative of the importance of tango in creating an identity that unified the diverse cultures of Buenos Aires.

3 comments:

Henry (@knowtango.com) said...

Interesting post. Where did you find the research to support these statements?

Tango commuter said...

On the 70,000 tracks recorded? Follow the link.

Anonymous said...

I think you underestimate the ammount of European classical music from the last centuries. We just know the masterpieces, not the rest. But I agree they produced a lot in BA. Of which we know only little...