Cyril Garac: Maria de Buenos Aires

On the verge of diving again into this great piece of art by Ferrer/Piazzolla with my McFall’s friends and colleagues, I can’t stop thinking about the context of its creation. The work was premiered at the Sala Planeta in Buenos Aires in May 1968 and was not well received by the critics and a not-especially open-minded public. It has been staged only seldomly for many years before a resurgence of interest with modern productions.

But Piazzolla was not the kind of man to doubt about music in general, and about his music in particular. We know that he put a lot of personal effort into making the premiere of “Maria de Buenos Aires” happen. At one point, he even had to sell his car and furniture to raise enough money for the production.

In my opinion, this “operita” provides some of the strongest, most powerful and emotional pages he ever wrote. The young Piazzolla learnt how to play Bach on his bandoneon in his childhood before he discovered the music of Elvino Vardaro’s tango sextet on the radio, which made a huge impression on him and was decisive in his choice to move on to Buenos Aires and to settle himself in tango world. This journey is certainly very significant to explain the purity of the musical lines in “Maria de Buenos Aires”.

Anyway, it’s now high time for all of us to embark with you in this “Edinburgh-Buenos Aires Express” to “Maria’s station” to have the chance to (re)discover this treasure!

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Credit: Andy Catlin
Photo of Cyril Garac

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