Prepárense: The Piazzolla Project by enhake

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Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 8.25.05 PM.png

Prepárense: The Piazzolla Project by enhake

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It seems lately that everyone is attempting to claim Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)  as their own. He was born on 11 March 1921 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, and although his music was largely disparaged by his countrymen for most of his life, the porteños at least seem to have changed their tune when he was eventually named the Illustrious Citizen of Buenos Aires in 1985. Astor and his immediatefamily moved to New York City in 1925 (when he was four) where he was to spend fourteen of his formative years. Speaking as a citizen of the United States, I can safely say that we were lucky to play a role in what he was to become. Anothercountry with strong ties to this Tango Nuevo innovator was Italy. The birthplace of his grandparents (in Puglia on his father’s side and in Tuscany on his mother’s), he called that country his home starting in 1974 with the signing of his Curci-Pagani Music contract. The Italian audiences, as told by Piazzolla, alwayssupported his musical adventures even when Argentina held tight to its “old guard” allegiances.

Considering that he studied with Argentina’s most revered composer, Alberto Ginastera, and one of the most famous composition teachers in the world at the time, Nadia Boulanger, it is no wonder why classical musicians like ourselves look to him. While growing up in New York, Piazzolla famously snuck out of the house on numerous occasions to hear greats like Cab Calloway play in Harlem. Later, he would also name Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, and Stan Kenton as influences and he even collaborated with Gerry Mulligan and Gary Burton. The element of jazz in his music and the admiration given his work by modern jazz musicians, then, should come as no surprise. And of course, Piazzolla’s work is almost universally celebrated by today’s Argentine tangueros—even if it took longer than he would have liked. Given the wonderfully syncretic nature of his music, it is no wonderwhy audiences worldwide want to stake a claim on his legacy.

Celebrated for adventurous yet accessible programming, enhakē (in-HA-kee) has distinguished itself with performances of startling intensity. Drawing its name from the Seminole (Creek) word for “sound” or “call”, the group is comprised of clarinetist Wonkak Kim, violinist M. Brent Williams, cellist Katherine Decker, and pianist Eun-Hee Park. Their distinctive instrumentation provides a rare flexibility to perform repertoire from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras in addition to the most captivating contemporary masterworks. The grand-prize winner of the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition (2009), gold medalist of the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition at Carnegie Hall (2008), and laureate of the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition (2011), enhakē has successfully toured on three continents and in many of the world’s notable venues and series, including Carnegie Hall, the OK Mozart Festival, South Korea’s Young-San Arts Hall, the Pan-Music Festival at the Seoul Arts Center, and in Costa Rica at the Promising Artists of the 21st Century Series under the auspices of the United States Department of State and Costa Rica-North America Cultural Center. They have also been the ensemble-in-residence for the Albany Symphony Orchestra in Georgia and Tallahassee Youth Orchestras in Florida. Strong advocates for new music, enhakē has had works written for and dedicated to them by numerous leading composers including Libby Larsen, Peter Lieuwen, and Edward Knight. Members of the group have also been on faculty at the Chapel Hill International Chamber Music Workshop, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and the Music in the Mountains Conservatory. As a recording ensemble, enhakē has CDs on the Naxos and Emeritus labels.

- M. Brent Williams, violinist and arranger of enhake


Transcribed and arranged by M. Brent Williams
Primavera Porteña
Concierto para Quinteto
Buenos Aires Hora Cero

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