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November 30, 2008

Sandra Luna’s live performance. October 10, 2008

Letter from Buenos Aires
By Beatriz Dujovne


Sandra Luna and Raul Lúzzi. Click to enlarge.
From Link: Sandra Luna * Blog Oficial

Not all tango singers fulfill porteños’ expectations. There is no mercy for poor diction or out of tune voices. In a way they are as picky as Italians are with opera singers.

Sandra Luna has it all. She delivers the heart of tango with perfect voice, stage presence, beauty, warmth and drama.

Her intimate show happened at café concert El Vesubio in the mythological Corrientes Avenue where orquestas tipicas used to perform in multiple establishments during the golden era of tango.

[Historical Note: “Corrientes y Esmeralda”, the tango poetry written in 1922 by Celedonio Flores exalts the narrow street prior to 1933 when it became a wide avenue; I have to remind myself that the lyrics were not written for the avenue I know].

An excellent guitarist, Raul Luzzi, accompanied Luna on the small stage of this narrow, simple venue, all painted in black. She conversed with the audience in between songs, as many singers in this city do. This conversation creates a cozy cocoon for singer and audience.

Sandra sung many of my favorites, opening with the contemporary lyrics and music of Eladia Blazquez (who was born in Sur): “El Corazon mirando al Sur” [The heart looking South].

[Note: Sur is the district of Buenos Aires where tango was born. Most milongas are concentrated in Sur (barrios San Cristobal, San Telmo, Monserrat). Sur is where many tango musicians and poets were born. Countless nostalgic lyrics have sung – and will likely continue to sing - to Sur].

A poignant rendition of “Milonga Triste” followed, with music by Sebastian Piana and poetry of the great Homero Manzi (who grew up in Sur). Her repertoire included, among other songs, “Martirio” sung with the desperation its lyrics require, “Nunca tuvo Novio” [She never had a boy friend] from Agustin Bardi and another great poet Enrique Cadicamo, and “La Trampera” from Anibal Troilo.

Lazzi gave us a jewel, an instrumental only of “Adios nonina” [Good bye mama] by Astor Piazzolla; according to her this piece had never been recorded.

I enjoyed her selections of classic and contemporary tangos, particularly “Recalada” with music and poetry by contemporary artists; composers Nestor Basurto and Raul Luzzi and poet Alejandro Szwarcman.

I happened to see Szwarcman the following day at the National Academy of tango and told him about Luna’s repertoire including his beautiful poetry. With unnecessary humbleness he said that Luna can take anything and transform it into beauty. For Spanish readers, I recommend reading Szwarcman’s tango lyrics in: Todo Tango: Alejandro Szwarcman

(Copyright (c) 2008 Beatriz Dujovne).

Posted by beatriz at November 30, 2008 12:01 PM

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