Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) was an Argentinian composer and bandoneon player. He was the father of “Nuevo Tango” or new tango. To say I love his music is understatement. There is a great sense of drama in his many compositions. Though tango is basically “music of the street,” Piazzolla took tango to new heights and hardcore tango enthusiasts didn’t (and some still don’t) take to the sophistication of his approach. He studied composition with the famed Nadia Boulanger in Paris and in his hands tango became “classic” music or “serious music.” (Though I don’t really like that term.) At any rate, if anyone doesn’t yet know about Piazzolla they are in for a real treat.

One of my favorite recordings of his music is by the guitar duo of the Assad Brothers. Sergio and Odair Assad are two virtuoso Brazilians of roughly the same vintage as myself, and Piazzolla wrote the Tango Suite with them specifically in mind.
I have written, in my own humble way, three pieces that are an homage to Piazzolla and Nuevo Tango. Those three pieces are “Astoria,” “Tango Blue,” and “Reverie.” All of which can be found at iTunes, Amazon or on disc at cdbaby or by going to and perusing my discography.

Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915)

I have come back to listening to Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) recently.
He was a Russian composer who thought he was a mystic and wrote a ton of piano music. He was a sort of Russian Chopin.
Harmonically he was ahead of his time. His music can be spooky, exhilarating and intense and, as I have read, is also pretty good description of his personality. I have heard his music described as “a sugar cube dissolving in a bitter cup of coffee” and “a cold wind through bleak moors.” Very interesting.

What do you think? Have you clicked the link to give him a listen?