“Sí, es cierto, soy un enemigo del tango; pero del tango como ellos lo entienden. Ellos siguen creyendo en el compadrito, yo no. Creen en el farolito, yo no. Si todo ha cambiado, también debe cambiar la música de Buenos Aires. Somos muchos los que queremos cambiar el tango, pero estos señores que me atacan no lo entienden ni lo van a entender jamás. Yo voy a seguir adelante, a pesar de ellos.”
(Ástor Piazzolla, 1954)
The purists called him the enemy of the tango, the “tango killer”. This was Piazzolla’s reply:
“Yes, it is true, I am an enemy of the tango, but of the tango they seem to understand. They continue to believe in the ‘compadrito’ and I do not. They believe in the ‘farolito’ and I do not. If everything has changed, the music in Buenos Aires also has to change. There are many of us who want to change the tango, but these people attack me and they do not understand it and they never will. I will push on in spite of them.” More or less, I’ve taken the liberty of a rather direct translation from the original quote in Spanish that you see above. He said this in 1954.
“Libertango” he composed in 1974 and appears in the album of the same name. The title is the union of the words ‘libertad’ and tango. Piazzolla was demonstrating that he sought the freedom to create. And that he did. He sought freedom to develop a new tango that would sound, feel and steer quite far from the classical one…
Piazzolla played “Libertango” in Milan for the first time in 1974. Since then the song has had many interpreters and interpretations. It is a hybrid tune, part tango, part jazz, and all tango-jazz open to improvisation in many ways and with many instruments, although most still include the bandoneon, Piazzolla’s instrument in the mix…
Here is a modern rendition by the Cuban saxophonist and band leader, Paquito D’Rivera:
But here is the original featuring Ástor Piazzolla: