Cover image for Astor Piazzolla : a memoir
Astor Piazzolla : a memoir
Piazzolla, Astor.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Astor Piazzolla. English
Publication Information:
Portland, Ore. : Amadeus Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
260 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Translation of: Astor Piazzolla : a manera de memorias.
Personal Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.P445 A3 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Astor Piazzolla, brilliant, iconoclastic tango musician and composer, has become a national hero in Argentina and a cult figure for classical and jazz lovers worldwide, but only after a lifetime of controversy and struggle.The outspoken, headstrong Piazzolla told his story to journalist and longtime fan Natalio Gorin in the spring of 1990 in a series of frank interviews.Among the firsthand observations of others who knew Piazzolla well are those of his lyricist Horacio Ferrer, his fellow musicians, and his colleagues. Translator Fernando Gonzalez, an Argentine native and American popular music critic who covered Piazzolla's career in the United States, has annotated the Amadeus edition for the widening audience that is rediscovering Astor Piazzolla.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Tango is a product of the mixed African, European, and Latin culture of the outskirts of 1880s Buenos Aires and was originally played in the bordellos. Piazzolla (1921-92), born in Argentina and raised in New York, learned to play the bandoneon, the form of accordion that is the primary instrument of tango. Having studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, who encouraged him to develop the tango, and with Alberto Ginastera in Argentina, he composed tangos influenced by Ravel, Debussy, Puccini, and Messiaen as well as jazz. Starting when he was 18, he played in the premier band in Argentina for five years before forming his own quintet, octet, and nonet. All along, he composed his own brand of tango, which was soon embraced by both classical and jazz musicians. In this as-told-to, he recalls his musical inspirations and tragedies, his career, and his family. Translator Gonzalez introduces Piazzolla, and Gorin's appreciation of Piazzolla, the remembrances of his musical friends, and an article on the bandoneon fill out the book. --Alan Hirsch

Library Journal Review

In 1990, Buenos Aires-based journalist Gorin interviewed his friend Astor Piazzolla over the course of three days, just months before the famous Argentine bandoneon player and composer of tangos was stricken by a debilitating stroke. This book is the edited transcription of those sessions (including helpful annotations from the translator), with additional material from letters written by Piazzolla and reminiscences of some of his associates and fellow musicians. While he holds forth, the cosmopolitan Piazzolla, raised in New York and schooled partly in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, comes across as egoist, imp, and impassioned musician. Ever the performer, he boasts, confesses, pays homage to, and bitterly complains about people in turn. Gorin's chapter summarizing Piazzolla's life and significance as well as the commentaries of others are dry in contrast. Recommended as a supplement for libraries already owning Maria Susana Azzi and Simon Collier's Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Astor Piazzolla (LJ 4/1/00). (Index not seen.) Bonnie Jo Dopp, Univ. of Maryland Libs., College Park (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Astor Piazzolla
Prefacep. 9
Introductionp. 13
Prologuep. 23
1. Alevarep. 25
2. New York, New York (First Movement)p. 29
3. Maestro, Why Don't You Play a Tango?p. 39
4. Suite Troileanap. 59
5. Nadia of Paris, Alberto of Barracasp. 69
6. New York, New York (Second Movement)p. 75
7. For Fans Onlyp. 79
8. Aria for Chorusp. 93
9. Love Themep. 117
10. Love Theme (Encore)p. 123
11. Self Portraitp. 125
12. Bandoneonp. 141
13. 500 Motivationsp. 147
14. Triunfalp. 151
Postscriptp. 157
The Penultimate Goodbyep. 159
Milonga for Fourp. 191
My Crazy Bandoneonp. 207
Piazzolla's Musicians and Singersp. 213
Discography of Recordingsp. 220
Chronologyp. 249
Bibliographyp. 252
Indexp. 255