“Tango Gradus ad Parnassum” is a musical project in which I integrate elements from two distinct cultural traditions that very much define me: the River Plate tango and the so-called Western Art music (classical or contemporary). The repertoire has been entirely composed or arranged by myself, in doing so finding my own “voice”, that which expresses my musical and personal identity as well as my own history.
“Gradus ad Parnassum” comes from a Latin expression derived from Greek mythology, in which the Parnassus mount represents an arrival point, a higher peak than the one from which we were departed. With the affix of the word “tango” I state the two main goals of my project: the study of the constitutive elements of tango music and a thorough research aimed at expanding its configuration possibilities by integrating materials and techniques from Western Art music (including computer assisted composition). In addition, “Gradus” implies a gradual movement, in this sense related to my trajectory as an artist: parallel to a long and intense professional activity devoted to traditional tango I have decided to undertake a new, challenging journey of creative experimentation more in line with my nature and the reality surrounding me.
The project consists on a group of pieces of variable geometry, with diverse instrumental combinations that range from a soloist to the complete ensemble: Santiago Cimadevilla, bandoneon; Ruzana Tsymbalova, violin; Álvaro Rovira Ruiz, electric and acoustic guitars; Virgilio Monti, double bass; and me, as pianist and conductor.
“Tango Tinto” is composed by Gerardo Agnese, (bandoneon), Bárbara Varassi Pega (piano), Virgilio Monti (double-bass) Vincenzo Albini (violin), and Rubén Peloni (voice). The repertoire embraces the different periods of tango up to contemporary times, including own compositions and pieces by key composers in original as well as in revisitated, personal own versions. “Tango Tinto” has extensively given recitals and shows (also with dancers, multimedia, actors) in Argentina, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, France, England, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Poland, Denmark, and Lithuania, being always well received by critics and public. The ensemble has recorded three cd's, namely “Tango Tinto” (2004), “Ojos Negros” (2007) and “Camino esquivo” (2016).
TANGO GRADUS AD PARNASSUM
DUO VARASSI PEGA - AGNESE
Piano and bandoneon
The intimacy of a duo, the greatness of tango music and the backbone instruments of an 'orquesta típica'. Featuring traditional pieces from tango, folklore and other genres of popular South-American music, the duo performs both legendary versions as well as own arrangements and compositions.
Masks and puppets theater
After many years working in music education with children I have recently embarked in the fascinating world of theater and puppets. Together with my dear cousin, the great visual artist Mauricio Martínez, we have made our own version of “Pinocchio”, the famous Italian fairy-tale. The piece is aimed both at presenting an artistic and poetic play for children (and not only) as well as sensitizing spectators on values such as trust, generosity, honesty and humbleness. All masks and puppets are entirely handmade and the story is guided by music I specially composed for the play and perform live. Children are oftentimes invited to actively participate in the story through riddles, bodily expression and auditory games, making it a dynamic and interactive experience.
BÁRBARA VARASSI PEGA
A programme made of own arrangements and compositions of tango and Argentinian music with the addition of some pieces by my favourite pianists/composers/arrangers: Horacio Salgán, Carlos García and Gustavo Beytelmann.