by Astor Piazzolla
arr. by Christopher Rueda
for Reed Quintet (ob / Bb cl / sop / bs cl / bsn)
$20 – PDF
The title Libertango is a portmanteau merging “Libertad,” the Spanish word for liberty, and “Tango.” This work and its title symbolize Piazzolla’s movement away from Argentina’s classical tango tradition and his development of the “nuevo tango” style. Libertango was recorded and published in 1974, and has become one of Piazzolla’s most sought-out works.
Christopher Rueda’s arrangement for reed quintet is sought out by numerous performing ensembles and has been heard throughout the United States, including performances by the Akropolis Reed Quintet, who listed the arrangement as a Repertoire Highlight in 2019.
Astor Piazzolla (1921 – 1992), Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player, is most known for his application of then-modern composition techniques to the traditional Argentine tango. After becoming a prodigy on the bandoneón during his childhood in New York City, he returned to Argentina played strictly traditional tango in night clubs with several groups. He then studied with Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera, delving into the works of Stravinsky, Bartók, Ravel, and others, and then with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. He became a controversial figure in Argentina as he incorporated his new compositional techniques, developing the “nuevo tango” (new tango). The nuevo tango incorporated elements of jazz, including its harmonies, dissonance, counterpoint, and extended compositional forms, as well as instruments not traditionally used in tango, including flute, saxophone, electric guitars, electronic instruments, and full jazz and rock drum kits. The saying “In Argentina everything may change — except the tango” implies some of the resistance he found himself working against, but his musical influence has lasted generations, and he is now known as “El Gran Astor” (The Great Astor).
Christopher Rueda (b. 1994), clarinetist and bass clarinetist of the Doclé Reed Quintet, graduated from the Eastman School of Music after studying with Jon Manasse and Kenneth Grant, and then moved to Chicago and completed his master’s degree in clarinet performance from Northwestern University – Bienen School of Music, where he studied with Steve Cohen and Lawrie Bloom. In his free time, Christopher enjoys arranging and transcribing music not only for reed quintet, but for a variety of ensembles.