Orchestra brings on color, passion in ‘Viva La Tango’
Conductor Jason Lim said he wants to stretch the technical skills of the musicians of Odysseus Chamber Orchestra during the concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at Denton’s First United Methodist Church, 201 S. Locust St.
But before you think “atonal” and groan, Lim also said he knows the musicians can bring out the colors and intensity of the program.
“Viva La Tango” is a concert of music by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. Lim appeared to be champing at the bit to bring the composer’s fiery, passionate work to the local stage.
“He was a master of tango,” Lim said. “He fused tango with classical music and with jazz and created something called tango nueva.”
The orchestra will perform arrangements of Piazzolla’s music. The composer played the bandoneon, a handheld cousin of the accordion and a type of concertina — a wind instrument that creates notes by pressing buttons that sound a pitch voiced by air forced through reeds. The bandoneon made its way to South America by sea from Germany, and eventually became a folk instrument that South Americans played with enthusiasm — especially for the tango.
Lim said he sought out arrangements of Piazzolla’s music for Odysseus’ instrumentation. Norwegian composer, pianist and arranger Sverre Indris Joner supplied arrangement for Piazzolla’s 1960 “Adios Nonino,” his 1953 composition Sinfonietta for Chamber Orchestra and the 1986 “Contrabajissimo.”
Lim arranged Piazzolla’s well-known “Oblivion.” The orchestra will perform Bobby Lapinski’s arrangement of “Libertango,” and bassist Jeff Bradetich, who heads the double bass program at the University of North Texas College of Music, will perform as a soloist with the orchestra on his own arrangement of “Contrabajaendo.” Bradteich is the soloist for “Contrabajissimo.”
Lim said Bradetich joined the concert after the two musicians talked last year. Lim said Bradetich, who created the International Bass Solo Competition, believes in Denton supporting an orchestra.
“He’s a master technician,” Lim said. “He has full command of his instrument.”
Lim said Piazzolla’s tangos aren’t driven by the typical tango dance rhythm.
“His rhythms are almost violent,” Lim said. “This program is very challenging. The rhythm and clarity demand the musician be in the moment and in the music. We’ll have had three rehearsals, and they’ll be efficient. I’ll have to get the players to dial into their personality.”
Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for students. Seating is general admission. To buy tickets and for more information, visit www.odysseuschamberorchestra.com.
— Lucinda Breeding