Bringing a different perspective to the music of tango, The Tango Decades is an 8-part series focusing on a horizontal slice of what was hot, decade by decade, as tango blossomed over 40 years. This last episode is focused on 1960 to 1964, and reviews the forces that emerged during the late 1940s and the 1950s to lay waste to the tango orquestas during the 1960s …. That’s this Sunday on Tango Capital, 7:00pm to 8:00pm:
- broadcasting on 2xxfm 98.3 in Canberra,
- streaming live and also on demand from http://www.2xxfm.org.au
Image Credit: Background: Vicente Greco established the sextet as the core structure of tango in the very earliest commercial disc recordings of tango dating from around 1910. Insert: Half a century later tango ensembles such as Osvaldo Berlingieri’s Cuarteto were returning to similar, smaller formations, although now as likely to be recording for television.
The smaller configurations reduced the dynamic range that had been a key factor in managing the emotional intensity of the music; together with the incorporation of jazz-related elements the result was a more intellectual style of concert music. While a few icons from the earlier years such as Troilo and Pugliese were able to maintain larger ensembles even their work followed the trend of those around them in moving towards a concert orientation at the expense of dancability. Astor Piazzolla had demonstrated overseas the practicality of small concert formations from the 1950s, but now the stage was cleared for emergence of the new names and styles of La Vanguardia in Argentina. It was a generational change for the musicians, and it took a generation for tango dancing to return.