Saturday, April 20, 2013

Eduardo Rovira - Tango Vanguardia (1963)

Eduardo Rovira was an Argentinian composer, bandaneón player, and musical arranger best known for expanding El Nuevo Tango to unpredictable lengths. If it weren't for the Lanusian composer, tango would have probably never met with such intriguing composition techniques like twelve tone and counterpoint.

Even though Rovira was a devoted Astor Piazzolla admirer, his music differs greatly from Astor's virtuosismo (and with most other composers' styles, for that matter). Eduardo Rovira's compositions are a lot more academic, innovative, lyrical and calculated to say the least.Not only that, but he has also added innumerable layers of complexity thus showing tango music a new face,a new face that grants this genre a diverse range that makes it worthy of dainty analysis and comparison with other forms of cultural art music. I would even dare to say that his place in Argentina's relatively small tango scene earns him such calls as "The Argentinian Gershwin" or "Argentina's first composer" (Yes, even before Piazzolla). Such incredible musical feats can only be attributed to a truly ambitious and competitive person, which Eduardo Rovira most definitely was. In reference to him being compared to Piazzolla, he stated :
"We are different, but reciprocally necessary to one another, at least stimulatively speaking. I want to improve what he does, just as he wants to improve what I do. I wish there were more "Piazzollas", so competition would lead us to yield ourselves to music even more"

1963's "Tango Vanguardia" (Tango Avant-garde) reflects this positively anti-customary thinking.
One of the album's first tracks is the string dominated "Elegía Para el Amigo Negro", this track is a nostalgic reflection of disaster that showcases Rovira's poetic expertness. It is followed by "Contrapunteando" which, like the name implies, is an example of Rovira's strange relationship with counterpoint whose academic realization is by all means amplified by Nuevo Tango's seductive verses. The same could be said -without a doubt- of "Serial Dodecafónico". Of course tango music wouldn't be tango music if it went by all the dodecaphonic norms, and that is exactly where Rovira's genius comes in, 12-tone music doesn't lose its whim and nor does Rovira's cerebrally engaging tango ideals.

Replete with intelligently adjoined harmonies, poetic bandoneón lines, and marvellous execution, "Tango Vanguardia" proves itself one of Nuevo Tango's most transcendental achievements.

"El tango es una vivencia, es algo que representa la manera de vivir y sentir de cada uno"