Castle Concerts CD Series
Gabriel Rivano ~ Bandoneón
A concert hosted by "Castle Concerts" Bad Homburg
Recorded, producted and created
Recording & Mastering Engineer: Andreas Otto Grimminger.
Audio-CD, 56 min., DDD
|La Luminosa - The Illumination... revealing the unique quality inherent in things that are unimposing by nature is often a question of the right light, the atmosphere or the surroundings. Have you ever had the feeling of hearing something within a room or hanging in the air without its actually being there? This is how I felt about the music, the concert given by Gabriel Rivano.
In the stately ambience of the palace church, the Tango Argentino and the sound of the bandoneon blossomed into a music of deep and intensive feelings' and each time I hear the recording, let myself be drawn back to the moment of the performance and listen to the mood, I think I hear violins in the background. A string orchestra that makes the intensity of Gabriel Rivano's compositions and the wistful sound of his bandoneon simply float in the air. Perhaps this is only an idea, a dream - being able to experience and enjoy his bandoneon accompanied by a string orchestra on the stage of the palace church.
Bandoneonist Gabriel Rivano and guitarist Victor Villadangos have been playing together for more than 20 years on international stages, in chamber music settings and with large orchestras. On their European tours they are joined by the flutist Mónica Taragano and together they make up the "Gabriel Rivano Trio". Characteristic of this fascinating trio is the way the classical sounds of guitar and flute interact with the subtle improvisations and arrangements of Rivano’s bandoneon.
Gabriel Rivano lives in Buenos Aires, where he was born in 1958. He is a bandoneonist, guitarist, flutist and composer who has appeared with different combinations of musicians in concert halls and theatres throughout South America, Europe and Asia. Rivano likes to work with musicians who play different types of music (tango, folk, jazz and classical). In 1990 he formed the “Gabriel Rivano Quinteto". He has written numerous pieces of chamber music and several concerts for this ensemble, including a concert for bandoneon, guitar and orchestra that had its world premiere at the famous “Teatro Colón" in Buenos Aires in 1997.
Victor Villadangos was also born in Buenos Aires and is a professor of guitar at the Juan José Castro Conservatory there. He has been touring extensively since 1980, giving concerts and performing both as a soloist and with chamber music ensembles. His concerts have been presented on all of Argentina’s prestigious stages and he has given guest performances in Europe, the United States, Canada, Israel, Japan and Latin America. In 1990, the Konex Foundation awarded him the “Diploma al Mérito" for his artistic achievements.
Mónica Taragano was born in Argentina and graduated from the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires, having studied transverse flute with Oscar Piluso. She has competed successfully in many music competitions, including winning the Franz Liszt Prize and been awarded the “Concours Presencias de la Musica" and the “Fondo National de las Artes". In 1996 she went to France on a scholarship and worked with Pierre-Yves Artaud, Mihi Kim and Arlette Biget. Her repertoire is large and extremely varied. Ms. Taragano lives in France and teaches at the Conservatory in Villeneuve St Georges.
It was thanks to Heinrich von Kleist's play "The Prince of Homburg" that the former residence of the Landgraves of Hesse-Homburg, a stone's throw away from the gates of Frankfurt, became world-famous. The palace with its wonderful gardens is probably one of the most beautiful baroque estates in Germany. It is therefore no wonder that the Prussian Kings and German Kaisers were very fond of spending the years between about 1866 and 1916 here. And also no doubt because of the relaxation and recreation provided by the town of Bad Homburg von der Höhe, a spa famous for its medicinal springs. Even the Prince of Wales used to come here in search of amusement, relaxation and "to take the waters" along with the English and Russian aristocracy.
At the courts of Europe, art was extremely multi-faceted. The educated aristocracy was aware of the necessity to support and cultivate the fine arts, and in doing so, created the basis for Europe's ambience. And so it was thanks to arts patron Isaak von Sinclair that the poet genius Friedrich Hölderlin became the court librarian at Homburg Palace during the artistically formative years of his short life. It was here that Hölderlin wrote "Patmos", probably his best-known poem. In those days, much that was of little ostensible or commercial value in the fine arts or in literature and music aroused considerable attention and admiration, thus laying the foundations of our cultural life and identity today.
Music that is new, pieces worth listening to and well worth conserving, little treasures from the traditional and the avant-garde - music that is unimaginable anywhere else but in the hotbed of Europe - our "Castle Concerts" series of recordings captures these in their original settings and preserves them for the future. By his endowment to the town church in Bad Homburg, Kaiser Wilhelm II unwittingly did the little church in the palace a favour and helped turn it into one of the most beautiful and intimate concert halls in Europe. The Palace Church fell into disuse and was forgotten, along with its magnificent late-18th century Bürgy organ. The turmoil and modernization fads of the 20th century passed it by, and it remained untouched until a local initiative, the "Bad Homburg Palace Church Trust", stepped in and secured enough patronage to save this architectural gem. True to the original and with a loving attention to detail, both church and organ were restored to create a truly wonderful concert hall. Today the Palace Church sparkles with a renewed radiance that is set off perfectly by the superb "Music in the Castle" concerts organized with such enthusiasm by Ulrike and Volker Northoff.
Gabriel Rivano ~ Bandoneón
You can play Tango. Astor Piazzolla did. Anibal Troillo did. Leopoldo Frederico did. Many have done, do, and will go on doing it. This is what is expected. But you cannot play with Tango. This is hallowed ground, protected by taboos, punished by social exclusion. Gabriel Rivano is the one and only that has taken this risk, and suffered the consequences. In Rivano's hands, the bandoneón is no longer a vessel for male affirmation.
When Rivano places it on his knees, it's a child, it's a toy. Julio Cortázar, one of so many great "porteño" (from Buenos Aires) writers, said that children take their games very seriously, create their own rules -- their own Universe -- and abide strictly to them. When Rivano plays his toy, the bandoneón, he does it with the rigour and abandon of a child. He achieves the utmost playfulness within the strictest rules.
Rivano's music swings between these polarities: structure and playfulness. Tynianov, the Russian constructivist from the 20's, wrote: "The artistic fact can't exist outside the submission, the deformation of each and every factor by the constructive factor". This is Rivano's style, his method.
Rivano inherits the love for structures from his father and the compulsion for playfulness from his mother: he is born into what in the future becomes his method, his style: his music is a continuous attempt to equate this family polarity, to infuse beauty into and from it. Each of his albums testifies to this struggle.
Rivano walks against Tango mainstream when he refuses its inherent violent and dramatic pathos and insists on being playful. The most direct consequence is: with the exception of a single album ("Tradición"), Rivano records and distributes all his albums independently. Each album will overstep a Tango taboo.
In "Tradición" he plays the music of his grandfather, Adolfo Perez Pocholo, a famous bandoneón player from the turn of the 20th century. He creates the most modern sounding music out of the most traditional musical material. Rivano rejects the occidental phalacious musical path: onwards, always, towards dissolution. He moves in spirals, recovering bits and pieces from the past at each turn, reinvesting them with the harmonic, timbric, rhythmic conquests of his times.
Johann Sebastian Bach straddled the tense line between the sacred and the profane. His music is polarized against these extremes. The bandoneón was crucified against this line: it was originally used to replace the organ in poor churches, and also in brothels. Rivano records "Bach en Buenos Aires" and his own polarity structure-playfulness reflects Bach's and the bandoneon's polarity sacred-profane.
Brazilian culture can be summarized by a single word: anthropophagy. Brazilian culture eats and digests all foreign influences. Rivano, as Tinyanov said, submits all his influences to the constructive factor. It couldn't be helped that Rivano felt so attracted to Brazilian culture and expressed this attraction and affection through a record, entitled "Porto Seguro".
Piazzolla himself broke with certain streaks of the Tango tradition. He absorbs Bártok and Stravinsky, injecting rhythmic vitality into Tango. He uses Bachian counterpoint, as Heitor Villa-Lobos also did. But he doesn't break the ultimate Tango axiom: he still plays as a "porteño" male, he still uses his bandoneón to affirm drama. Rivano records "Piazzolla en Bandoneón" and crosses cultural barbed wire: he doesn't play Piazzolla: he plays with Piazzolla. Tempestuous Piazzolla, fond of hunting sharks, sits on a sand beach and plays with toys. Piazzolla is treated amorously, playfully.
Rivano never had his picture on the cover of his albums. Neither did he record traditional Tango themes, such as "El Choclo" or "El día que me quieras". Sitting on the sands of Ipanema, the same brazilian beach immortalized by João Gilberto, Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, his wife Claudia suggests why not record Tangos and Milongas, the quintessential "porteño" genres. From the sands of Ipanema, with a cover photograph taken by a norwegian, Rivano continues to cross cultural barbed wire, improvising playfully and rigorously with sacred themes from the Tango repertoire.
As Fernando Pessoa, the great Portuguese poet, was characterized, Rivano isalways the same, always different. His polar movement between structure and playfulness repeats, and repeats and repeats, incessantly. This doesn't change. But each movement produces a different album, another work of beauty, another work of transgression, the transgression of a child that has the guts to say that the King is naked, but the King is so much more beatiful naked...
The Gabriel Rivano Trio
This ensemble (flute,guitar and bandoneon) was one of the first formations in the Guardia Vieja and it´s also used in the new compositions of Rivano.
The guitar player Villadangos and Rivano played together since 20 years ago - in duo, quintet, octet and with orchestras in different countries (Japan, Europe, South America) and in theatres like Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires).
In this european tour was incorporated Monica Taragano(flute).
The characteristic of the trio is the interaction between the classical sound of Villadangos and Taragano and the subtile arrangements and improvisation of Rivano.
About the program
The first two pieces, El portenito and Sabado Ingles, were composed in the beginnings of the 20 th century (El portenito is from 1901) when the tango was borning.
This period was called "Guardia Vieja del Tango" (Rivano´s grandfather was from that period and made the variation of Sabado Ingles).
Barrio de tango is a song by Troilo who´s conidered the most sentimental and expressive bandoneonist in the tango history. Piazzolla played in his orchestra in the 40´s.
Milonga de mis amores is one of the most famous milongas- a rythm from where the tango came.
Asado criollo and La luminosa are two pieces of Rivano with folklorical influence.
Piazzolla´s tangos included are from the 60´s. On that period he composed their more important pieces who were discussed by the traditional tango audience.
The three last pieces were written by Gabriel Rivano in the 80´s and reflects the new tendences in tango music.
Born in Buenos Aires, Víctor Villadangos graduated from the Juan José Castro Conservatory with the degree Profesor Superior de Guitarra under the tutelage of María Herminia Antola de Gómez Crespo.
Since 1980, Mr. Villadangos has performed extensively, both as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles, having appeared on the stage of all of the major concert halls and theaters of Buenos Aires and more than one hundred different cities throughout Argentina. Internationally, he has concertized in Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, the US, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Israel and Japan.
Twelve solo CD recordings, as well as his participation in numerous recordings of classical and popular music, give testimony to his prolific activity in the recording studio, featuring world premiere recordings of numerous works, many of which are dedicated to him. In 2000, Mr. Villadangos joined the roster of artists recording with the Naxos International Record label. His first recording, Guitar Music of Argentina, includes works by Argentine composers: Carlos Guastavino, Juan Falú, Máximo Pujol, Héctor Ayala, Walter Heinze and Narciso Saúl. The second, Tango Argentino, features tangos by Piazzolla, Gardel, Troilo and Mores, among others. His third recording with Naxos will include works by C. Guastavino, M. Pujol, S. Natali, M. Coronel, J. Santillán, and J. Ferrer and of his own authorship.
Victor Villadangos has performed with prominent musical organizations including: Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba, Orquesta Filarmónica de Montevideo (Uruguay), Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Orquesta Sinfónica Juan de Dios Filiberto, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Ramat Gan (Tel Aviv), Orquesta de Cámara Mayo, Orquesta de Cámara de Morón, Orquesta de Cámara de La Plata, Orquesta Académica del Teatro Argentino (La Plata), Orquesta de Cámara Juvenil de Buenos Aires, Orquesta de Cámara Scherzo, the String Quartet of the Universidad Nacional of La Plata, Buenos Aires String Quartet, among others.
Since 1990, Mr. Villadangos has given master classes and seminars throughout Argentina, including Tucumán, Salta, Jujuy, Santa Fe, Corrientes, San Luis, Puerto Madryn, Mendoza, San Juan, Mar del Plata, Colón and Victoria (Entre Ríos) and abroad in Rosario and Curitiba (Brazil), Bergen (Norway), Innsbruck (Austria), Frankfurt, Iserlohn and Coesfeld (Germany), Stratford (Canada) and Tel Aviv (Israel).
Currently, he is Professor of Guitar at the Juan José Castro and Manuel de Falla Conservatories in Buenos Aires.
In 1999, he was awarded the Diploma al Mérito (Merit Award) by the KONEX Foundation for his artistic endeavors and accomplishments over the last decade.
“Villadangos demonstrated his academic training and refined musicality in his phrasing and interpretation.”
----Juan Carlos Montero - La Nación (Buenos Aires)
“Victor Villadangos plays with a natural ease and fluidity making these often-demanding pieces seem effortless. Not only is his playing very clear and precise he has highly developed interpretative skills and is an excellent musician. Highly recommended.”
----Steve Marsh - Classical Guitar - London
“Villadangos is a genius, only he can bring out those mysterious sounds on the guitar.”
----Carlos Guastavino - Composer
“Villadangos gave us the best of the evening, with his refined performance and musical excellence.”
----René Vargas Vera - La Nación
“One of the best Argentine guitarists of today.”
----Roberto Espinosa - La Gaceta (Tucumán)
“The rising Victor Villadangos has produced an important recording catalogue.”
“…a virtuoso with unassailable good taste, capable of presenting a program without failings...”
----Jorge Aráoz Badí
“One of our best guitarists.”
----Pablo Bardin - Buenos Aires Herald
GABRIEL RIVANO TRIO
GABRIEL RIVANO ~ BANDONEÓN
1. EL PORTENITO
2. SABADO INGLES
3. BARRIO DE TANGO
4. MILONGA DE MIS AMORES
5. ASADO CRIOLLO
6. LA LUMINOSA
7. EL ZORRITO
9. FORRÓ EN PALERMO
11. ADIOS NONINO
16. CHACARERA DE LA CIUDAD
17. CIRCO HUMANO
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Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler