ABOUT THE ALBUM
Musicians : Sebastien Authemayou (bandonion), Marielle Gars (piano)
« Astor Piazzolla was born in 1921. 100 years later, his work has never been played so much, his inventiveness has brought down all the frontiers of the music world. Astor Piazzolla was an extraordinary character, from all points of view. We know part of his immense work, but we know very little about his incredible life.
On the occasion of the centenary of his birth, celebrated almost everywhere on the planet, Sébastien Authemayou and Marielle Gars sign an event book-disc : the first complete biography of the maestro never written and published in French, accompanied by testimonies, rare documents and a disc covering the composer's greatest period of activity.
To speak of Astor Piazzolla in words, pictures or notes is above all to speak of a free man. It is also to speak of profusion, in his life, and in his work. It’s finally talking about the opening, the abolition of borders, all borders.
These three notions are the pillars of the work carried out by Sébastien Authemayou and Marielle Gars for “Libertad”, this hybrid form of narration combining pleasure of the senses and thirst for content ».
Patrick Cova, editor, director of Éditions Parole
« I had the pleasure of meeting Astor Piazzolla in Paris. It was in the Beaubourg neighbourhood at the end of the eighties. He was happy to be applauded in France, but worried about the future of his music. How times have changed ! Today Astor has become one of the most valued composers, all genres combined ».
« Astor is the greatest composer of the 20th century because his work represents the perfect balance. You see, it's like Chopin, an almost popular and simplistic melody, which becomes by the genius of the composer so original that it is incomparable. If you play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, the notes are simple, but they came to this simplicity by such a romantic path that they become extraordinary. Astor is really an endearing character, he is a character who looks like his music. It is a commonplace what I tell you, but when you had the chance to approach him closely like me, you keep an unforgettable memory. It is fully part of my musical culture. It's like I had the chance to meet Mozart ».
« By interpreting my grandfather's music with a lot of love and respect, the Duo Intermezzo reflects his spirit with a different and innovative formation. Thank you for this high quality music ».
Daniel Astor Piazzolla, Astor Piazzolla grandson
To discover without delay !
Editions Parole N # 1's little notebook - April 2020
« PIAZZOLLA LEAVE US A PRECIOUS HERITAGE
WHAT IT'S IMPORTANT TO DEFEND IN ORDER
THAT HIS ART CONTINUES FOR A LONG TIME ».
The Duo Intermezzo is known for its research and recordings around Astor Piazzolla's work. We expected to discover a new disc on the occasion of this centenary. But you decided to go much further with “Libertad”, can you tell us a little more about this totally new project ?
Sébastien Authemayou : We have been performing Astor Piazzolla's repertoire for over fifteen years in arrangements that we have made personally for our bandoneon and piano duo. Of course, our different projects have led us to turn to other music but the art of the Argentinian Maestro has a special place for us as it is timeless and universal. Astor Piazzolla revolutionized the history of tango, but beyond that of all 20th century music. As such, he is for us one of the greatest modern composers, and especially one who has known with incomparable talent, bringing together in his language elements borrowed from jazz, classical music, the music of Bach, romanticism, popular and folk music ... In our research, we have seen a glaring lack of books in French concerning his work, his history, and his life. Thus was born the crazy bet to pay homage to him by proposing an innovative work, a book - disc, in which music and story complement each other in an immersive biography discovering this engaging and unusual character.
Marielle Gars : Exploring the life of a composer, let yourself be overrun by his work through the trials or victories he has gone all along his existence is very exciting mostly with exceptional artists like Astor Piazzolla. As musicians, our primary role is to share, exchange, transmit both emotions and knowledge, all in a privileged relationship that we establish with our audience during our various concerts. Thus, this project is thought of as an extension of our exchanges lived in the cozy rooms of theaters. It truly allows you to meet Astor through the prism of its incredible history, that of a life entirely dedicated to music. We must extend his approach by proclaiming to the world his genius and all the beauty of his art. Our duty is also to counter all the misconceptions and the many wanderings that we can - even today - read here and there about him.
Going into the writing of such a book, with all the research that necessarily accompanies it... it was that quite a challenge no ?
Sébastien Authemayou : You are right. I was talking about betting earlier, but it is rather a challenge, an impressive undertaking, an overwhelming long-distance race but oh so exhilarating and thrilling. After several years of research, readings, exchanges with many personalities from the French and Argentinian musical milieu, we finally decided to write a book ! With hindsight, now that the manuscript is completely finished, I would even say that we had to be completely crazy to sort, compile, organize more than a thousand pages of notes, mostly taken from publications, works, or articles in Spanish which we have therefore partially translated. But ultimately, as André Gide said so beautifully : « The most beautiful things are those that are blown by madness and written by reason. You have to stay between the two, very close to madness when you dream, very close to reason when you write ». Once the work is done, it remains only the happiness and satisfaction to say that we can bring a stone to the precious heritage that Piazzolla left us and that it's important to defend in oder that his art continues for a long time.
And around your new disc, can you tell us a little more?
Marielle Gars : We have thought of this disc as a musical biography, selecting most of the periods of Piazzolla's compositions, from the 1940s to the end of his life, with arrangements that aim to cover all the characters and specificities of his music : sadness to joy, melancholy to elation, anger to tenderness, and much more in a perfect reflection of Argentine culture. Besides, the Argentinian writer Ernesto Sábato described tango as a sad thought that is danced. Thus, we wanted to draw a musical portrait, the most authentic and the most eclectic possible with works that have been huge successes but also with some nuggets unknown from its repertoire, like for example the suite for piano written in a completely impressionist spirit. I think that the public will really discover incredible facets of this composer !
In conclusion, the publication of “Libertad”, scheduled for France in early December, is already arousing real enthusiasm in the world of music and books. What do you expect?
Sébastien Authemayou : We are truly extremely delighted that this project has been received with such fervor. It is true that Astor's music touches, interpellates, upsets as much as it captivates. The character is also equally endearing and extraordinarily striking of humanity. Her story is amazing and so inspiring. Of course, everything is not idyllic in his journey, but one thing is clear : Astor has remained a free and authentic being all his life. He thus transmits to us a strong, sincere, true message, that of a tenacious man who, by dint of persistence ended up imposing his music on the whole world. Its history is quite simply beautiful and it deserves to be transmitted, in music, accompanied by its most beautiful compositions. For our part, we hope that with this new publication, we will be able to develop more and more projects in connection with this fascinating man and his music which touches us a little more every day.
Marielle Gars : One evening, at the end of a concert, a person of the public said to me : « When we listen to you, we tell ourselves that life is good ». A sacred compliment ! Astor's music is obviously at the center of this touching testimony. So what could be more natural than paying tribute to him ? The day when we will be told that this book - disc reveals all the nobility of Piazzollian art and that it still imposes a little more the Argentian Maestro as a major composer of the XXth century, we will have won our bet !