Astor Piazzolla: Libertango


Composed in 1974 whilst in Milan, Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango is one of his most recognisable works. A significant shift from the traditional tango form to the tango nuevo, Libertango incorporates elements of jazz to create a new hybrid genre. Piazzolla is remembered for paving the way with this new genre. 


The Music

Originally written for accordion and percussion, Libertango has been covered by a number of different musicians playing a range of different instruments. The devilishly difficult main theme played by the accordion sits at the heart of Libertango. The syncopation and asymmetric rhythms add to the flair of the music, with the classical tango elements still noticeable throughout. The fiery percussion drive the tempo forward as the accordion deals with two opposing themes – the syncopated accompaniment and the lyrical melody. 

The jaunty melody is developed over the course of the piece, with the textures becoming richer as it develops. The final bars of Libertango sees the melody fully-flourished with the percussive accompaniment, with the piece fading away into silence. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

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