Michel Lysight - Ástor Piazzolla



Label: Antarctica
Format: CD
Barcode: 0608917734225
Catalog number: AR 042
Releasedate: 03-02-23
- Piazzolla's 'Four Seasons of Buenos Aires' paired with 'Four Seasons' by Michel Lysight, composed for and dedicated to the ensemble

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)  - Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas
Between 1965 and 1970, Astor Piazzolla composed the ‘Four Porteñe Seasons’ or ‘Four Seasons of Buenos Aires’, for his New Tango Quintet. This work is now played as a suite, but Piazzolla did not conceive it as such. The order is not fixed – the pieces can be swapped around, or played separately. The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires is not an imitative work – indeed, how can you ‘imitate’ a city? It is rather an evocation of the different atmospheres of the Argentinian capital depending on the different seasons. 

From the title, we might also imagine that Piazzolla is offering us a tango version of Vivaldi’s concertos. An arrangement, a remix. Or that he is having fun dropping quotations from Vivaldi’s themes into his pieces. He is doing no such thing. Some things Piazzolla’s and Vivaldi’s works have in common are frequent changes of tempo, strong contrasts of nuance, the use of virtuosity, refreshing unisono passages and, finally, very expressive slow passages. But – and this is tango – these expressive passages are heart-rending, poignant, even tragic, often associated with a free rhythm, an unidentifiable pulsation – and this is really Piazzolla ... This is theatrical music, expressive of intense feelings. 

The atmosphere of each piece is never utterly joyful or completely sad, which is also one of the characteristics of tango music: tragedy and joy go hand in hand and intertwine. Piazzolla unsettles the traditional tango by adding little grating, stinging, sometimes aggressive jabs, so that, in all four pieces, we are always on edge ...

Michel Lysight (1958 - ) Four Seasons
Four Seasons (2016) for accordion, violin, cello, double bass, percussion and piano was composed at the request of accordionist Christophe Delporte for the Astoria Ensemble, to which it is dedicated. The titles of the four movements that make up this work are deliberately enigmatic, but each refer to a particular season. It’s for the audience to guess which and why.