Thursday, February 16, 2012

Essence of Tango

I nearly had an aneurysm when I asked a tango teacher from a large US city, visiting in DC, what was the "essence of tango."  His response:  "I find the rhythm of tango the least interesting thing about tango.  It is the harmony and melody from Europe that is most interesting."  I tried to clarify because certainly my ears did not hear right.  Another teacher spoke up in a agreement with him. This video clip was what came to mind.  I need not say anything or even quote D'Arienzo. The scariest thing:  The first teacher was from Argentina. I don't expect anyone to believe me.  I wouldn't believe it unless I heard it myself.

Here is a quote from 1949:
"In my point of view, tango is, above all, rhythm, nerve, strength and character... I reacted against that mistake which caused the tango crisis and placed the orchestra in the foreground and the singer in his place. Furthermore, I tried to rescue for tango its masculine strength, which it had been losing through succesive circumstances. In that way in my interpretations I stamped the rhythm, the nerve, the strength and the character which distinguished it in the music world and which it had been losing for the above reasons. Luckily, that crisis was temporary, and today tango has been re-established, our tango, with the vitality of its best times. My major pride is to have contributed to that renaissance of our popular music." - Juan D'Arienzo

1 comment:

  1. He's got a shorter quote too, "Si les falta compás no hay tango"


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