"My music is popular chamber music that comes from the Tango..." (an excerpt from a 1989 interview with Astor Piazzolla conducted by Gonzalo Saavedra) This quote epitomizes the spirit of this recording.
The tango is pervasive with Piazzolla, everything he touches is "tangofied" including many of the titles of his compositions. His choice of names like Libertango, Amelitango, Tristango, and Novitango clearly affirm the composer’s commitment to his popular roots in his native Buenos Aires. These titles also reflect the varied shades of emotions which embody the tango from the social point of view.
Historically Piazzolla’s stay in Paris (1954), and his study of classical music, had a powerful influence on his development as a composer. "L’Histoire du Tango" perhaps his best known work, is one of the few intimate pieces that were written as a succession of dance movements, alternating fast and slow tempos, that express a distinct relationship to the Dance Suites of the eighteenth century. The musical history of the tango itself compelled Piazzolla to put this work together as a larger classical form.
Jazz is certainly one of the more important influences in Argentine music, and its style and spirit are evident here. Piazzolla’s collaboration with saxophonist Gerry Mulligan led to the recording "Summit" (1974). The last three pieces on this recording Deus Xango, Close Your Eyes and Listen, and the title track Summit are from the Piazzolla Mulligan collaboration . Like this earlier recording "Piazzolla" is a blending of jazz and tango. A merger that seems almost inevitable when you consider the nature of the musical structure, syncopated rhythms, and themes that are pervasive in both styles. Violin and guitar, both played in early role in the development of the tango as a popular music form. As an ensemble, La Compagnie des Arts, plays colorful arrangements in which the oboe and violin replace themes that were often played on bandoneon, and bass clarinet combined with guitar, replace the piano.