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Astor Piazzolla y su Orquesta – Pulsación

Astor Piazzolla y su Orquesta – Pulsación (1969) (Full Album)

2021 marks the centennial of Astor Piazzolla, the Argentine composer-bandoneón master and inventor of nuevo tango, which transformed traditional tangos for the dance floor into concert works with jazz and classical music elements.

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Piazzolla was certainly internationally known when he died in 1992, but his fame and popularity have skyrocketed since. “If he were alive right now, he would be very, very happy for that,” said Argentine pianist and composer Pablo Ziegler, who played and recorded for more than a decade in Piazzolla’s second and last bandoneón quintet.

The latest sign of Piazzolla’s soaring stature will come Nov. 18-21 when guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth with concerts featuring his Aconcagua Concerto for Bandoneón and Orchestra.

In addition, the Quinteto Astor Piazzolla, a group founded by his widow, Laura Escalada Piazzolla, will perform a special Symphony Center Presents concert on Nov. 19 as part of a world tour. The group, which received a 2019 Latin Grammy Award for best tango album, carries on the traditions established by Piazzolla’s first and second quintets.

Piazzolla composed his Concerto for Bandoneón and Orchestra in 1979 on a commission from the Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, and he served as the soloist for the premiere in December of that year. His publisher added the moniker Aconcagua, the name of a mountain on the Argentina-Chile border, saying, “This is the peak of Astor’s oeuvre, and the highest peak in South American is Aconcagua.”

Piazzolla was born in Argentina to Italian-immigrant parents. Four years later, he moved with his family to New York City — first to Greenwich Village and then to Little Italy. He discovered tango by listening to some of his father’s records, and a friend soon taught him the rudiments of playing the bandoneón, a kind of concertina popular in Argentina and Uruguay.

When he was 12, he began taking lessons with Hungarian classical pianist Bela Wilda, who taught him, among other things, how to play Bach on the bandoneón. A student of Rachmaninov, Wilda happened to live next door, and Piazzolla was entranced by the sounds that emanated from his home. “My father and I knocked at his door, and when he opened it, I was bewildered by his grand piano and the pack of Camel cigarettes he used to smoke,” Piazzolla said in an extended interview on the website Todo Tango.

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In 1938, when he was still just 17, Piazzolla joined the tango orchestra of Aníbal Troilo and later became an arranger for the group as well. During this stage of his career, he led kind of two musical lives, one devoted to tango and the other to mastering classical music. On the advice of famed pianist Artur Rubenstein, he began studying with composer Alberto Ginastera in 1941, delving into the scores of Stravinsky, Bartók and Ravel, and later took piano lessons with Argentine keyboardist Raúl Spivak.

In 1953, he won a grant to study composition with the celebrated French pedagogue Nadia Boulanger, who also taught composers ranging from Aaron Copland to Philip Glass. At that time, Piazzolla had largely rejected the tango, and he presented Boulanger with a number of his classically inspired compositions.

She was impressed with his technique but felt that the works did not have a personal stamp. He finally admitted that he played bandoneón and wrote tangos. So he performed for her a tango piece he had written a bit earlier, Triunfal. “And then she told me, ‘There is Piazzolla, never leave it!” he recalled in the Todo Tango interview.

When he returned to Argentina, he formed his Octeto Buenos Aires, inspired by the octet of jazz saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, which he had heard in Paris. It was with this ensemble — a radical break from the larger bands common in tango — that he began to write his groundbreaking music that became known as nuevo tango.

“When he started with the first Buenos Aires Octet, that music was like Bartók and Stravinsky,” Ziegler said. “Because of the huge rejection by the media and tango audience, he started to change and do something more acceptable, but he was really a contemporary composer.”

Piazzolla’s nuevo tango, which fuses Baroque counterpoint, extended chords and jazz swing, is at once earthy and elegant, seductive and transporting. It is instantly identifiable and cannot be confused with the music of anyone else.

In 1961, the composer formed his first quintet, with bandoneón, piano, violin, electric guitar and double bass, a combination that many experts believe is the most authentic and expressive vehicle for his music. He organized a second quintet in 1978 and called Ziegler to recruit him for the group.

For Ziegler, who was well-established on his own at that point as a composer and arranger, hearing from Piazzolla was a “big surprise.” The pianist asked the composer why he wanted him in the quintet, and Piazzolla told him that he was looking for someone who would bring strong improvisatory skills as well as a complementary and distinctive playing style.

“For me and for each musician, it was a big challenge,” Ziegler said, “because his music was really incredible but difficult.” He remembered a new work that Piazzolla presented him that looked almost unplayable at first, but with the composer’s encouragement and considerable study, he was able to pull it off.

Ziegler praised Piazzolla’s abilities on the bandoneón, especially his ability to shape the sound and nudge his fellow players in the direction he wanted to go. “He was like the Oscar Peterson [referring to the great jazz pianist] of the bandoneón — tremendous, tremendous,” Ziegler said.

In addition to performing with Piazzolla in the quintet, Ziegler also joined the composer in some of his larger orchestral works, including the premiere of his bandoneón concerto, which has a significant part for the piano.

According to Ziegler, Piazzolla’s approach to these concerts was simple: “We play the music, and the orchestra has to follow us.” But in fact, it is a bit more complicated. The pianist must emphasize the importance of articulations in Piazzolla’s music, especially in the strings, and tries to illustrate how they should be done.

Astor Piazzolla’s OBLIVION

Esta es una de las más hermosas obras que compuso el maestro Astor Piazzolla, esta obra la incluyen en el repertorio orquestas sinfónicas y de cuerdas de mucho prestigio. La compuso en los años 80 durante su tiempo en los EEUU, cuando Piazzolla vendia música para vivir, esta obra fue comprada para la banda sonora de la pelicula “Enrique IV” del director Marco Bellocchino de nacionalidad italaiana.

Esta es una canción que trata sobre el olvido. En francés se escribe J’oublie y en la lengua inglesa, como fue concebido, dado que Oblivion es (Olvido).

Did you know? Musical Analysis

APPROACHING PIAZZOLLA’S MUSIC: an analysis of his music and composition styles (1/2)

Table of Contents

    APPROACHING PIAZZOLLA’S MUSIC: an analysis of his music and composition styles (1/2)

    1. Astor Piazzolla. Introduction.

    Astor Piazzolla was born 1921 in Mar del plata, a town south of Buenos Aires, where he lived his first two years. Due to various circumstances, his family moved to New York where Astor spent most of his childhood. His parents, who had emigrated from Italy, worked hard for their living in New York. Vicente, Astor’s father, loved the traditional tango music of Argentina and when Astor was eight years old, hoping that his son someday would be a tango musician, he gave him a bandoneon1 for his birthday. Astor did not fancy the traditional tango at all, but he enjoyed classical music though.

    One day he heard someone of the neighbours practicing the piano; a concert pianist had moved into an apartment and was now practising music that fascinated Astor:

    “At that age I didn’t know who Bach was, but I felt as if I had been hypnotized. It is one of the great mysteries of my life. I don’t know if it was Johann Sebastian Bach or one of his sons. I believe I have bought all Bach’s recorded works, but I could never find that music again. That pianist practiced nine hours a day: three hours of technique in the morning, three hours of Bach in the afternoon, and three at night, trying out repertoire for his concerts. He was Hungarian. His name was Béla Wilda, and soon he became my teacher.”

    As his teacher, Béla Wilda introduced classical music in Astor’s life and he helped out adapting Bach’s music to the bandoneon. Occasionally, Astor played bandoneon at school and soon he became popular; he had a great talent and playing the bandoneon was quite rare in New York back then. At this time he met the famous actor and tango singer Carlos Gardel, and because of his talent, he began to accompany Gardel at some presentations.

    Astor learned some tangos and he also participated in a Gardel movie. In 1936 the Piazzolla family moved back to Mar del plata and at this time Astor hade a new great musical discovery; it was a tango orchestra he heard on the radio. This inspired him deeply and in 1938 he moves, all by him self, to Buenos Aires to be a tango musician. After some years of playing in different tango orchestras he starts playing in one of the most coveted orchestra; the orchestra of Anibal Troilo. After a while Astor become the arranger of the orchestra and in the meantime he is studying composition for Alberto Ginastera.

    In the late 40’s Astor starts his own orchestra and by impulses from the classical music he develops his own style. All the while he continues to study composition and he also studies piano and orchestra conducting, and in 1953 he wins first prize in a composition contest that takes him to a one-year trip to Paris.

    With the famous pedagogue Nadia Boulangier as teacher he is studying counterpoint, harmony, and pastiche composition. She told him that everything he brought to her was well done but she couldn’t find the true Piazzolla in his works. Astor had not told her that he was a tango musician; knowing her poise in the world of classical music made him ashamed of his past:

    “Nadia looked into my eyes and asked me to play one of my tangos at the piano. So I confessed to her that I played the bandoneon; I told her she shouldn’t expect a good piano player because I wasn’t. She insisted, ”It doesn’t matter, Astor, play your tango.” And I started out with ”Triunfal”. When I finished, Nadia took my hands in hers and with that english of hers, so sweet, she said, ”Astor, this is beautiful. I like it a lot. Here is the true Piazzolla – do not ever leave him.” It was the great revelation of my musical life.”

    This was the great break point for him, and when returned from his study period with Nadia Boulangier in Paris he formed his Buenos Aires Octet, and it was at this time he started to develop his own composition style for real. By growing up in New York and Buenos Aires, he was influenced by the Blues and the Tango. As a result, combining this with inspiration from Bach (whose inventions he learned from Belá Wilda) and Stravinsky, he led the tango into a new era. With influences from classical music Piazzolla used techniques that were not traditional in tango music. He applied a contrapuntal way of thinking and expanded the formal structures of tango music by processing thematic material.

    From Bach’s legacy for example, he used the fugue technique, layered voices, sequences and pedal lines as compositional tools. Influenced by Bartok, Stravinsky and Ravel, he applied extended harmonies and orchestration techniques that were not in traditional tango music.7 Piazzolla collaborated with various ensembles where he explored the expression of his style, and the musicians he worked with often contributed their personal performance style. These contributions turn out to be significant components of Piazzolla’s style.

    2. Some characteristics of Piazzolla’s style

    According to Quin Link, an essential rhythmic pattern that became Piazzolla’s hallmark is the tresillo. The basic structure of this rhythm is 3+3+2 and it originates from the song tradition milonga canción where it has 3+1+2+2 as structure. The latter one is also known as the milonga rhythm, the habanera rhythm, or the rumba rhythm. The surface rhythm in Piazzolla’s music is often accentuated with the tresillo or its variants obtained by shifts. By shifting it in stages eight various rhythms is created where some of them are more common than others. Furthermore, these rhythmic cells can be paired together across two or more measures and form a 2:3 feeling, for instance 133333.

    As expected, several of the characteristics in this style are derived from the traditional tango. Some of them, like the tresillo, are more frequent than others. One that is applied repeatedly as well is the marcato technique. It is a melody line in steady crotchets, typically played by the piano and the double bass. The marcato technique provides a foundation in rhythmic terms.

    However, it also has an important harmonic function similar to the walking bass line in jazz. Additionally, an essential rhythmical pattern in the idiom is the arrastre, which is an upbeat gesture that originates from when the bandoneon opens its bellows before a downbeat. The arrastre is imitated by the piano as an ascending scale and by the strings as a slide.2 To resemble a percussive effect, the piano’s arrastre is performed as an indefinite series of notes.

    Astor Piazzolla sheet music partitura

    Piazzolla applied the percussive gestures that had been common in traditional tango in his compositions. Effects like: lija(sandpaper); golpe(knock); látigo(whip); perro(dog); and tambor(snare drum) were often performed by the violin and occur frequently in his style. One further percussive technique is the strappato that often is played by the double base, and the strongly accented rhythmical patterns that the piano often reproduces in a percussive way.

    In Instrumental Rubato and Phrase Structure in Astor Piazzolla’s Music, Kutnowski analyses the phrase structure in Piazzolla’s music, and detects a technique that he defines as instrumental rubato. It concerns the rhythmic transformations a melody endures when it rushes towards the end of a phrase faster than required or expected. He argues that this technique origins from the song tradition in tango, in particular from the singer Carlos Gardel.

    The rubato was usually improvised by the singer. Consequently, when played simultaneously by several instruments, it had to be notated in the score. Furthermore, Kutnowski describes the phrase structure in Piazzolla’s music as an overlapping technique , where the last measure of a phrase at the same time is the first measure of the next phrase. Additionally, he argues that it creates a feeling of continuity.

    3. Libertango. Analysis.

    Published in 1974, Libertango is probably one of the most well known compositions of Piazzolla’s voluminous music catalogue. Many artists have recorded it; Gracie Jones, for instance, had a successful hit with it in the eighties (with lyrics in English) and YoYo Ma played it on his Grammy Award winning album Soul of the tango.

    There are many versions of this piece, however, I have chosen to analyse the arrangement that I believe represent the most common one. Libertango is a piece in four beat with an ABA- structure. By being present in the bass line the entire piece though; the tresillo rhythm indeed saturates the piece. With the bass line as a foundation, the piece is characterised of an ostinato gesture and various melodies that are combined in a contrapuntal way.

    The primary sections have a chord progression based on a pedal bass line and a bass line in descending motion. As a contrast, the secondary section’s chord progression is based on a fifth motion with tonicization.

    Accordingly, the harmony is overall based on regular II-V-I progressions in minor mode, and besides the short ornamental modulations that the tonicizations represent, there is no change of key area whatsoever. The primary sections reminds actually of a jazz chorus; with some variations, it is repeated over and over.

    The first subsection starts with presenting the ostinato gesture and the bass line, which rhythmically complete each other due to their accentuated rhythms; the latter has the tresillo no 1 and the former has no 7. As for the introduction subsection in Milonga del ángel, this subsection establishes the environment and is waiting for the melody to arrive.

    Astor Piazzolla sheet music partitura

    By being present the entire piece and due to their rhythmical features, the ostinato and the bass line provide the backbone of Libertango. The melodies that are added one by one as a new subsection enters, consists mainly of long note values; consequently, they form a kind of complementary to the rhythmical backbone. Although not as clear as for the bass line, the melodies have a descending motion.

    Consequently, the tonicization sequences in S are the only passage where the overall descending motion is abandoned for a moment. The bass line in the primary subsections may be defined as either pending or descending. As a complement to the bass line’s motion, it seems like the melody has a more active role when the bass line is pending; and vice versa, the melody is pending when the bass line is descending.

    Astor Piazzolla sheet music partitura

    As the illustration shows, the melodies move as triads while the bass line is pending. This implies that the motivic chord progression (t DD D), characteristic for Piazzolla’s music, is clarified. When the bass line descends, it is more or less the same chord progression; however, it is now the bass notes that clarify the chords. While the chord progression in P is based on this motivic chord progression, the chord progression in S is instead a cycle of fifths that is prolonged by tonicization. Correspondingly, this technique may be characteristic for Piazzola’s music.

    Astor Piazzolla sheet music partitura

    As illustrated above, the sequence starts by transforming the subdominant (Dm) into a temporary tonic. It is then given the role as a supertonic (Dm7b5) in relation to the new temporary tonic (C).

    (Next Post: “Milonga del Angel” and “Fuga y Misterio” and Summary)

    Piazzolla’s sheet music available for download from our Library.

    Best songs of Astor Piazzolla.


    Astor Piazzolla – Adiós Nonino Astor Piazzolla – Tristeza De Un Doble ‘A’ ( 08:04 ) Astor Piazzolla — Ave Maria ( 15:18 ) Astor Piazzolla — Bíyuya ( 20:58 ) Astor Piazzolla — Buenos Aires Hora Cero ( 27:10 ) Astor Piazzolla — Chin Chin ( 32:43 ) Astor Piazzolla — El Penultimo ( 39:11 ) Astor Piazzolla — Escualo ( 44:44 ) Astor Piazzolla — Fuga Y Misterio ( 48:07 ) Astor Piazzolla — Oblivion ( 51:25 ) Astor Piazzolla — Jeanne Y Paul ( 54:58 ) Astor Piazzolla — Libertango ( 59:10 ) Nuevos Aires — Balada para un Loco ( 01:03:20 )

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    Scott Joplin – The Entertainer

    Table of Contents

      Scott Joplin The Entertainer with sheet music

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      Who Was Scott Joplin? 

      Born in the late 1860s somewhere along the border between Texas and Arkansas, Scott Joplin took up the piano as a child and eventually became a travelling musician as a teen. He immersed himself in the emerging musical form known as ragtime and became the genre’s foremost composer with tunes like “The Entertainer,” “Solace” and “The Maple Leaf Rag,” which is the biggest-selling ragtime song in history. Joplin also penned the operas Guest of Honor and Treemonisha. He died in New York City on April 1, 1917.

      Musical Family

      Scott Joplin’s exact date of birth and location is not known, though it is estimated that he was born between the summer of June 1867 and January 1868. Born to Florence Givens and Giles Joplin, Scott grew up in Texarkana, a town situated on the border between Texas and Arkansas.

      The Joplins were a musical family, with Florence being a singer and banjo player and Giles a violinist; Scott learned how to play the guitar at a young age and later took to the piano, displaying a gift for the instrument. Julius Weiss, a German music teacher who lived in Joplin’s hometown, gave the young pianist further instruction. Joplin was also a vocalist and would play the cornet as Joplin left home during his teen years and began work as a travelling musician, playing in bars and dance halls where new musical forms were featured that formed the basis of ragtime, which had distinct, syncopated rhythms and a fusion of musical sensibilities.

      Joplin lived for a time in Sedalia, Missouri in the 1880s and in 1893 he fronted a band in Chicago during the World Fair. He later settled in Sedalia again while continuing to travel, with the waltzes “Please Say You Will” and “A Picture of Her Face” becoming his first two published songs.

      Writing Huge Hit: ‘Maple Leaf Rag’

      Joplin studied music at Sedalia’s George R. Smith College for Negroes during the 1890s and also worked as a teacher and mentor to other ragtime musicians. He published his first piano rag, “Original Rags,” in the late 1890s, but was made to share credit with another arranger. Joplin then worked with a lawyer to ensure that he would receive a one-cent royalty of every sheet-music copy sold of his next composition, “The Maple Leaf Rag.” In 1899, Joplin partnered with publisher John Stark to push the tune. Though sales were initially slight, it went on to become the biggest ragtime song ever, eventually selling more than a million copies.

      Joplin focused on composing more ragtime works, with the genre taking the country by storm and Joplin earning acclaim for his artistry. Some of Joplin’s published compositions over the years included “The Entertainer,” “Peacherine Rag,” “Cleopha,” “The Chrysanthemum,” “The Ragtime Dance,” “Heliotrope Bouquet,” “Solace” and “Euphonic Sounds.

      Opera Ambitions

      Joplin was intensely concerned with making sure the genre received its proper due, taking note of the disparaging comments made by some white critics due to the music’s African American origins and radical form. As such, he published a 1908 series that broke down the complexities of ragtime form for students: The School of Ragtime: Six Exercises for Piano.

      Joplin also aspired to produce long-form works. He published the ballet Rag Time Dance in 1902 and created his first opera, A Guest of Honor, for a Midwestern tour in 1903. The production was shut down due partially to the theft of box-office receipts, with Joplin ultimately dealing with great financial losses.

      By 1907, Joplin had settled in New York to work on securing funding for another opera he had created, Treemonisha, a multi-genre theatrical project which told the story of a rural African-American community near Texarkana. A precursor to George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Treemonisha was presented in 1915 as a scaled-down production with voice and piano, but would not receive a full-stage treatment for years to come.

      Final Years and Legacy

      Joplin continued to work on various musical forms and formed his own publishing company with his third wife, Lottie, in 1913. By 1916, he had started to succumb to the ravages of syphilis, which he was thought to have contracted years earlier, and was later hospitalized and institutionalized. Joplin died on April 1, 1917.

      Ragtime would enjoy a resurgence during the 1940s, and then in the ’70s became a hugely popular classical genre that also entered the U.S. consciousness via film—”The Entertainer” became the theme song for The Sting, starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Joplin’s Treemonisha was also fully staged in 1975 on Broadway. The following year, Joplin received a special posthumous Pulitzer Prize, honoring the man who shaped a genre that influenced decades of music.

      The Entertainer

      is a 1902 classic piano rag written by Scott Joplin. It was sold first as sheet music, and in the 1910s as piano rolls that would play on player pianos.The first recording was by blues and ragtime musicians the Blue Boys in 1928, played on mandolin and guitar.

      As one of the classics of ragtime, it returned to international prominence as part of the ragtime revival in the 1970s, when it was used as the theme music for the 1973 Oscar-winning film The Sting. Composer and pianist Marvin Hamlisch‘s adaptation reached #3 on the Billboard pop chart and spent a week at #1 on the easy listening chart in 1974. The Sting was set in the 1930s, a full generation after the end of ragtime’s mainstream popularity, thus giving the inaccurate impression that ragtime music was popular at that time.

      The Recording Industry Association of America ranked it #10 on its “Songs of the Century” list.

      Did you know?

      Interview with Joep Beving (Feb. 7, 2020)

      Table of Contents
      • Interview with Joep Beving
        • Did your relationship to music change when it became your job rather than your hobby? 
        • You’ve been described as one of the most listened to living pianists in the world, which is amazing. 
        • Someone said that your music’s quite similar to Keith Jarrett’s…
        • Do you mind how other people perceive or describe your music?
        • Whose music would you say has influenced your style? 
        • Who are your favourite composers?
        • What’s your opinion on the ‘classical chillout’ trend that’s growing in popularity?
      • Joep Beving’s sheet music is available for download from our Library.
      • Ab Ovo

      Interview with Joep Beving

      Joep Beving is a Dutch composer and pianist who has been described by The Guardian as a “one-man recording phenomenon”. His journey is the stuff of dreams, going from “kitchen composer to Spotify star” virtually overnight. After self-releasing his debut album Solipsism, Beving went on to see his contemplative piano pieces streamed more than 85 million times, and has since given up his day job to compose and perform full time.

      If you follow any ‘Chilled Classical’ or ‘Ambient Relaxation’ playlists, you will have heard his music even if you’re not familiar with his name. The deluxe version of his latest album, Henosis, comes out this week and I had the pleasure of chatting with him while he was over in London for a few brief hours.

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      Did your relationship to music change when it became your job rather than your hobby? 

      It definitely changed. I never saw myself as an artist… I felt it on the inside, but I never dared to see myself that way, let alone as a composer. It has very much intensified my relationship with music and I’m just extremely thankful for it. I have to take myself seriously now, which is still sometimes difficult, but it’s exciting and the only thing I can really do is work hard to write music and and hopefully create things that people appreciate, and at the same time be absolutely open and honest about what’s behind it. 

      Having gained so many followers and listeners so quickly must be quite mind-blowing.

      Yeah, that is mind-blowing, although it’s very easy to put in the right perspective because that insane amount comes from one very influential playlist that I have had the luck of being featured in.

      You’ve been described as one of the most listened to living pianists in the world, which is amazing. 

      That’s ridiculous. There are many more that deserve the credit in what used to be a niche of solo piano music, but is now a bit bigger: Jóhann Jóhannsson,Max Richter, Niels Hausgaard, Nils Frahm… It’s a very good thing but it’s also a very scary thing. I can see why some marketing people would want to use that to get people’s attention but it creates a lot of negative energy. 


      You’ve said that while your music uses a “classical vocabulary”, it’s aimed more at a pop audience, and you’ve also performed in jazz festivals around the world. How do you classify your music? Do you see it fitting into the evolving classical canon?

      No, not at all. My writing is completely free of rules. What I try to do is just get myself out of the equation and just accept what comes out and feels right. I want to see if I can create or establish a connection to others, so I try to find something universal. I often follow a pop structure (AABA) and my music has similarities with ambient music because of the sound, the vibrations and the tempo. It has a little bit to do with electronic music, mostly where electronic means minimal classical. It’s much more in that vein than in the classical vein but it obviously does borrow from the classical vocabulary and if you look at John Cage, for example, who’s rightly considered a very great American composer – he had a phase of doing some recordings that were intentionally mood-based, using music for a specific mental purpose. 

      Someone said that your music’s quite similar to Keith Jarrett’s…

      That’s a huge compliment. It’s funny you mention him because Keith Jarrett was one of the first musicians who showed me that music can just be without the genre. If you classify Keith Jarrett you say ECM because that’s cross-genre – it’s not classical, it’s not jazz per se, it’s somewhere else. If I can have just a little bit of Keith Jarrett in me, that would be phenomenal.

      Do you mind how other people perceive or describe your music?

      No. Every description has its ripple effect, its consequence, and if I would be in the business of trying to control that I would be wasting my time. The moment that it prohibits you from being heard in the first place, then it’s an issue. Once you have the luxury of an audience, then it doesn’t matter. It’s easy for me to say because I have the audience first. If it was the other way around I would probably have a different opinion.

      Whose music would you say has influenced your style? 

      Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Philip Glass, Arvo Pärt, Chopin, Satie, Radiohead, Mahler, and anything late romantic.

      Who are your favourite composers?

      Scriabin, Prokofiev (mostly the 3rd Piano Concerto), Mahler, Brahms’ piano music, Arvo Pärt, Peteris Vasks, Tigran Hamasyan.

      What’s your opinion on the ‘classical chillout’ trend that’s growing in popularity?

      I think it’s great. On the one side of the continuum, we have the massage saloon version, which is obviously kitsch and too far down the road. And then the area that we’re talking about, which you could say Satie is part of, or Cage. If that has a beneficial effect on people in their franticness, or fighting anxiety or insomnia, then that’s absolutely amazing. The other part is the deeper side of serious music that can have a very important effect on how you feel and how you look at life. If you embrace that dark side, and you’re not scared of it, it’s a great way of overcoming a lot of anxieties and issues.

      Joep Beving’s sheet music is available for download from our Library.

      Article source.

      Ab Ovo

      Film Music

      Henry Mancini: The Pink Panther Theme (full with sheet music)

      Henry Mancini: The Pink Panther Theme (with sheet music download)

      “The Pink Panther Theme” is an instrumental composition by Henry Mancini written as the theme for the 1963 film The Pink Panther and subsequently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score at the 37th Academy Awards but lost to the Sherman Brothers for Mary Poppins. The eponymous cartoon character created for the film’s opening credits by David DePatie and Friz Freleng was animated in time to the tune. The tenor saxophone solo was played by Plas Johnson.

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      Best Classical Music

      Erik Satie (composer and pianist) (1866-1925)

      Erik Satie (composer and pianist) (1866-1925). Download his sheet music in our Library.

      Erik Satie (French composer and pianist) Erik Alfred Leslie Satie was a famous French composer and pianist who is remembered for his unconventional and often humorous style of music. He was born in the middle of the 19th century in France and began his musical education under a local church organist. He enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 13, but was dismissed as a very insignificant and lazy student after two and half years.

      He later reentered the Conservatory, but failed to change his teachers’ opinion and left within year. He then joined French military but was discharged after a few months due to a severe case of self-inflicted bronchitis.

      After recouping, he began his career as a pianist at the Le Chat Noir Café-Cabaret in Montmartre, struggling all the while to gain recognition and financial stability. He became famous at the age of 45, when Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy played his works at concerts. Very soon, musicians of the younger generation began to appreciate his work, which also lead to the formation of the ‘Les Six’. However, his work was truly recognized only after his death; and within a decade of his death, he began to be hailed as a genius.

      Erik Satie (composer and pianist) sheet music

      Erik Alfred Leslie Satie was born in the coastal town of Honfleur in the Normandy region of France on 17 May 1866. His father Jules Alfred Satie initially worked as a ship broker. Later, he moved with his family to Paris, where he became a translator.His mother Jane Leslie Anton was of Scottish origin. She had a musical inclination and wrote a few pieces for piano. Satie was born eldest of his parents’ three children, having a younger sister named Olga Lafosse and a brother named Conrad.Satie’s family lived in Paris until their mother’s death in 1872.

      Thereafter, they were sent back to Honfleur to live with their paternal grandfather, who brought them up under strict Catholic tradition.As a child, Satie showed an interest in music; and in 1874, his grandfather made an arrangement for him to study piano under the organist at a local church. His teacher Vinot introduced him to liturgical music, especially the Gregorian chant.

      This early exposure proved to be a major influence on his later works.During his stay at Honfleur, Satie was influenced by his uncle, whom he called ‘Uncle Sea Bird’ because he spent a lot time sitting in his boat. Sea Bird took him to see circuses and plays. On those occasions, he was able to get glimpses of the backstage.In 1878, Satie’s piano teacher left Honfleur. In the same year, his grandmother died, and the children were sent back to Paris to live with their father.His father married Eugenie nee Bametche, a musically gifted piano teacher, in 1879.

      Around the same time, Satie enrolled in the Paris Conservatoire. Very soon, he started giving auditions to get admission in the piano class, but he failed each time.His teachers found his piano techniques uninspiring, and some of them also called him the laziest student of the class. After two and a half years, he was dismissed from the Conservatoire.During his years at the Conservatoire, Satie had started writing music for piano.

      The first two pieces he wrote were ‘Valse-Ballet’ and ‘Fantaisie-Valse’. He published them in 1885, numbering ‘Valse-Ballet’ as opus 62 instead of opus 1.Even after being dismissed from the Conservatoire, Satie continued to sit in the biannual examinations to enter the intermediate class.

      He finally reentered the institution after passing the examination at the end of 1885. However, his teachers’ opinions remained as biased as before.As he was unable to change his teachers’ perceptions, Satie left the Conservatoire in November 1886 and volunteered for army service.

      He was assigned to the 33rd Infantry Regiment as a reservist. Although his duties were comparatively light, he found his job too onerous for his liking and therefore made plans to leave.Hoping to be dismissed from the army, he began to sneak out of his barrack at night and moved about bare-chested in the cold winter air. As a result, he caught severe bronchitis.In April 1887, he was back to Paris on a two-month medical leave, which was extended several times before he was discharged from the service in November 1887.

      While recouping at home from his ailment, he started working on two of his well-known works, ‘Trois Sarabandes’ and ‘Gymnopédies’.After completing the sketches of some of his initial works, he began to focus on ‘Sarabandes’, completing it on 18 September 1887. In December, he moved to Montmartre, the bohemian part of Paris, after receiving a gift of 1600 francs from his father. In the same year, he befriended famous composer Claude Debussy.

      You can read the full biography here. Of course, you can find Erik Satie’s sheet music at the Sheet Music Library (pdf).

      Beautiful Music Guitar Videos LIVE Music Concerts

      Oblivion (Astor Piazzolla) by Nadja Kossinskaja, guitar (with sheet music)

      Astor Piazzolla Oblivion (Astor Piazzolla) played by Nadja Kossinskaja, guitar (with sheet music)

      Oblivion sheet music arrangement for guitar by Nadja Kossinskaja (and also for piano) is available in our Library

      Astor Piazzolla

      Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger. His works revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed Nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. A virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles.

      piazzolla oblivion guitar sheet music

      In 1992, American music critic Stephen Holden described Piazzolla as “the world’s foremost composer of Tango music”.

      After leaving Troilo’s orchestra in the 1940s, Piazzolla led numerous ensembles beginning with the 1946 Orchestra, the 1955 Octeto Buenos Aires, the 1960 “First Quintet”, the 1971 Conjunto 9 (“Noneto”), the 1978 “Second Quintet” and the 1989 New Tango Sextet. As well as providing original compositions and arrangements, he was the director and bandoneon player in all of them. He also recorded the album Summit (Reunión Cumbre) with jazz baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan.

      His numerous compositions include orchestral work such as the Concierto para bandoneón, orquesta, cuerdas y percusión, Doble concierto para bandoneón y guitarra, Tres tangos sinfónicos and Concierto de Nácar para 9 tanguistas y orquesta, pieces for the solo classical guitar – the Cinco Piezas (1980), as well as song-form compositions that still today are well known by the general public in his country, including “Balada para un loco” (Ballad for a madman) and Adiós Nonino (dedicated to his father), which he recorded many times with different musicians and ensembles. Biographers estimate that Piazzolla wrote around 3,000 pieces and recorded around 500.

      In 1984 he appeared with his Quinteto Tango Nuevo in West-Berlin, Germany and for television in Utrecht, Netherlands. In the summer of 1985 he performed at the Almeida Theatre in London for a week-long engagement. On September 6, 1987, his quintet gave a concert in New York’s Central Park, which was recorded and, in 1994, released in compact disc format as The Central Park Concert.

      The Origin of the song ‘Oblivion’

      Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla created the piece ‘Oblivion’ in 1982. It was famously featured in the 1984 Italian film ‘Enrico IV’ (‘Henry IV’) directed by Marco Bellocchio. The song has been described as “haunting” and “atmospheric,” and is considered to be one of Piazzolla’s most popular tangos.

      The film ‘Enrico IV’ was adapted from the play by Luigi Piradello. The lead character is an actor-historian who suffers a fall during an historical pageant. Upon regaining consciousness, he assumes the identity of the character he was playing, the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. The nostalgic tune starts out as a slow milonga, a genre of Uruguay and Argentina music considered to be a forerunner of tango.

      Milonga dance allows for a great relaxation of the legs and body. Movement is faster with less pauses. The dance mimics a kind of rhythmic walking without complicated figures.

      ‘Oblivion’ has many recorded versions, including for klezmer clarinet, saxophone quartet, and oboe and orchestra. The featured instrument enters immediately over a subtle, arpeggiated accompaniment with a melody of extreme melancholy — long-held notes alternating with slowly falling and weaving figures. A middle section offers a minimally contrasting theme, lush but less intense.

      ‘Oblivion’ evokes sadness, despite its lyrics speaking of love. It also has a harmonic sophistication and whispered sadness.

      Heavy, suddenly they seem heavy the linen and velvets of your bed when our love passes to oblivion Heavy, suddenly they seem heavy your arms embracing me formerly in the night

      My boat parts, it’s going somewhere people get separated, I’m forgetting, I’m forgetting

      Later, at some other place in a mahogany bar the violins playing again for us our song, but I’m forgetting

      Later, it splits off to a cheek to cheek everything becomes blurred and I’m forgetting, I’m forgetting Brief, the times seem brief the countdown of a night when our love passes to oblivion

      Brief, the times seem brief your fingers running all over my lifeline.

      Without a glance people are straying off on a train platform, I’m forgetting, I’m forgetting.

      piazzolla tango oblivion

      Piazzolla revolutionized tango and created nuevo tango (new tango), which is a blend of tango, jazz and classical music. ‘Oblivion’ is considered to be more traditional and less ‘jazzy’. The song was composed during the peak of his career, just a year after he performed in New York’s Madison Square Garden. The 1980’s are considered his most popular years, having held concerts all over the world including Europe, South America, Japan, and the U.S.

      He composed music for other films as well and was awarded in 1986 the Cesar Prize for his score for ‘El Exilio de Gardel.’ He has over 90 credits as composer for film and television. As one of their leading tango composers, he was named an exceptional citizen of Buenos Aires in 1986. In 1990, Piazzolla suffered a massive stroke and two years later, the Tanguero died in Buenos Aires on July 4. He leaves behind more than 1,000 works and the legacy of having revolutionized tango forever.

      Best Classical Music

      Khachaturian Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia (piano arr.) Cyprien Katsaris, piano with sheet music

      Khachaturian Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia (piano arr.) Cyprien Katsaris, piano with sheet music

      khachaturian sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti 楽譜

      Sheet Music download here.

      Spartacus ballet by Khachaturian

      Spartacus, ballet in three acts by Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian, known for its lively rhythms and strong energy. Spartacus was premiered by the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1956, and its revised form was debuted in 1968 by the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Khachaturian later adapted what would become his most famous ballet as a group of suites for orchestra, and, although the ballet remained a part of the Bolshoi’s repertoire, the suites provide the more familiar version.

      The program of Khachaturian’s ballet (libretto by Yuri Grigorovich) was derived from a book by Raffaello Giovagnolli that details events in a 1st-century-bce Roman slave revolt; its leader, Spartacus, was a Thracian warrior captured in battle. The rebellion’s high point—literally and figuratively—was its seizure of Mount Vesuvius as a stronghold. After two years of unrest, the rebellion was finally put down by Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Spartacus fell in battle. The surviving rebels, numbering some 6,000, were crucified along the Appian Way.

      Khachaturian’s original composition was based on a narrative sketch that had been prepared earlier for the Bolshoi. It was not a great success, perhaps as much because of the choreography and the story as the music. The 1968 version, with its contrasting moods of vibrant energy and gentle lyricism, was such a hit in Moscow that the Bolshoi took it on the road to Covent Garden the following year. By that time, the composer had already arranged orchestral suites from the ballet music so that Spartacus could reach the broadest possible audience.

      Although Soviet authorities approved of the ballet, apparently seeing it as an allegory of the Russian people throwing off their tsarist oppressors, it seems quite possible to interpret its message as referring to Russians under communism rebelling against their own oppressive Soviet leaders. Khachaturian, after all, had spent much of his life under the watchful eye of Joseph Stalin, and he had seen friends and colleagues disappear into the night.


      Spartacus is the dramatic story of the leader of a band of slaves uprising against cruel Roman rule.

      ACT I

      The military machine of imperial Rome, led by the Roman consul, Crassus, wages a cruel campaign of conquest, destroying everything in its path. Among the chained prisoners doomed to slavery are Thracian king, Spartacus and his wife, Phrygia. Spartacus is in despair. Born a free man, he is now a slave in chains.

      At the slave market, the men and women prisoners are separated for sale to rich Romans and Spartacus is parted from a grief-stricken Phrygia, who is destined to join Crassus’ harem.

      At Crassus’ palace, mimes and courtesans entertain the guests, making fun of new slave, Phrygia. Drunk with wine and passion, Crassus demands a spectacle. Two gladiators are forced to fight to the death in helmets with closed visors. When the victor’s helmet is removed, it is Spartacus, and he has killed his friend, Hermes.

      In despair, Spartacus decides he will no longer tolerate captivity and incites the gladiators to revolt.

      Bolshoi Ballet's Spartacus Act I

      ACT II

      Having broken out of their captivity, Spartacus’ followers call the local shepherds to join the uprising. Spartacus is proclaimed their leader, however he is haunted by the thought of Phrygia’s fate as a slave and he is drawn back to Crassus’ villa to find her.

      Crassus is at his villa, celebrating his victories, however the festivities are cut short when Spartacus and his men break into the villa. Spartacus engages Crassus in combat and is at the point of killing him when, with a gesture of contempt, Spartacus lets Crassus go.

      ACT III

      Crassus is tormented by his disgrace. Fanning his hurt pride, his concubine, Aegina calls on him to take revenge.

      Spartacus and Phrygia are happy to be together. But suddenly his military commanders bring the news that Crassus is on the move with a large army. Spartacus decides to go into battle but, overcome by cowardice, some of his warriors desert their leader. Spartacus’ forces are surrounded by the Roman legions. Spartacus’s devoted friends perish in unequal combat. Spartacus fights on fearlessly but, closing in on the wounded hero, the Roman soldiers crucify him on their spears. Phrygia retrieves Spartacus’ body from the battle field. She mourns her beloved and appeals to the heavens that the memory of Spartacus lives forever.

      Google Translator