October 22-23, 2005: Henry Doktorski performed Astor Piazzolla's Concerto for Bandoneón and Orchestra in two performances with the Loudoun County Symphony in Leesburg, Virginia, under the baton of music director and conductor Mark Allen McCoy. Encore pieces included Johannes Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5, Richard Rogers' Edelweiss, Vittorio Monti's Csardas, and Guido Deiro's Deiro Rag.
Piazzolla composed his Concerto for Bandoneón and Orchestra late in 1979 on a commission from the Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires; he was soloist in the premiere on December 15, 1979. The publisher Aldo Pagani also titled the work "Aconcagua" because, he said, "this is the peak of Astor's oeuvre, and the [highest mountain] peak in South America is Aconcagua (on the Argentina-Chile border, due west of Buenos Aires)."
Doktorski explained "I think Piazzolla's Concerto for Bandoneón and Orchestra is one of the great concertos for a free-reed instrument. I really enjoyed making such wonderful and inspiring music with the conductor and members of the Loudoun County Symphony. I should mention that I found Maestro McCoy to be a true gentleman while he interacted with the orchestra during rehearsals. He commanded their respect by giving them respect. And the audiences at both concerts were greatly appreciative."
Maestro McCoy was also pleased with the performances, "Henry is an absolute delight! He made true believers out of the orchestra and audience alike with his energetic performance of Piazzolla's concerto. His inspired playing wins him the title of TangoMaster."
To listen to excerpts from this concert, go to Sound Files.
An analysis of Piazzolla's Concerto appears at the bottom of this page.
Doktorski also performed for an assembly of 450 third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders at the Mill Run Elementary School in Ashburn, Virginia on Thursday, October 20. The students enjoyed his performances and engaging dialogue, especially during the finale piece-- The Hokey Pokey-- when Doktorski asked the school principal, Mr. Paul L. Vickers, to come up on the stage and demonstrate the dance for the students, who voiced their approval by squealing with delight.
Photographs by Jan Carson and Esperanza Alzona.
Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992): Concerto for Bandoneón and Orchestra (1979)
I: The first movement (duration 7:15) is in three parts.
A: mm. 1-94
(1) mm. 1-62: Allegro marcato, a rhythmic driving section mostly in B minor
(2) mm. 63-78: a more graceful cantabile melody
(3) mm. 79-94: a return to the Allegro marcato theme
B: mm. 95-154
(1) mm. 95-104: solo bandoneón cadenza
(2) mm. 105-144: a gentle meno mosso theme with orchestra
(3) mm. 145-154: reprise of cadenza
A': mm 155-198
(1) mm. 155-187: a return to the original Allegro marcato from section A
(2) mm. 188-198: a coda marked deciso
II: The second movement (duration 7:10), marked Moderato, is in four sections.
A: mm. 1-34
an introspective 34-measure bandoneón solo in A minor: a sustained melody in the right-hand with a left-hand accompaniment consisting of bass and chord accompaniment which can only be played on a bandoneón or free-bass accordion, as the left-hand chords are beyond the limits of the Stradella left-hand system.
B: mm. 35-67
a quartet of bandoneón, violin, cello and harp
C: mm. 68-114
the bandoneón tacets during an orchestral interlude in G minor, following which the bandoneón improvises along with the slow-moving orchestra, in B minor.
D: mm. 115-140
(1) mm. 115-130: a charming and rhythmic eighth- and sixteenth-note figure in A minor which appears in the extreme high registers of both the bandoneón and piano
(2) mm. 131-140: a coda marked meno mosso, a return of the original theme played in the left-hand
III: The third movement (duration 6:50), marked Presto, consists of three sections.
A: mm. 1-123
an energetic dance-like movement, mostly in A minor and F# minor
B: mm. 124-144
a Moderato section titled Melancolico Final in the key of A major
C: mm. 145-188
D: a coda marked Pesante, the work ends in A minor.
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