20 Century Tango
Claudio Constantini & Louiza Hamadi
The tango is known to have originated in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, a casserole of local and foreign influences, full of brothels, knives, scoundrels and a few broken hearted heroes. Lesser known is the facet it developed later on and out of this context when the tango reached not only the high European saloons but also the ears and minds of some of the XXth century´s most important composers. Seduced perhaps by its apparent sensuality and articulated rhythmic pulsations, some of these composers were inspired enough to write their own tangos. With varied instrumentations, be it piano solo, a chamber ensemble or a symphony orchestra, they brought their own visions of tango and traduced them into their own musical language, one that was immersed in the idiom of the 20th century. Some of these works have been able to stay in the standard repertoire of musicians and ensembles, like the tangos of Albeniz or Stravinsky. However, others (Schnittke, Satie, Milhaud…) have been harder to introduce and remain quite unknown. But, what would happen if we would insert the most representative instrument of tango music into these works: the bandoneon? The result is here in your hands: an album that brings classical music of the 20th century together with progressive and revolutionary tango music of the same era, in the unusual chamber format of bandoneon and piano.
Claudio Constantini holds an international and multi-faceted career as a performer of two instruments, the piano and the bandoneon, as well as being a composer in demand. Born and raised in Lima (Perú) into a musician´s family, Constantini´s unique style is defined by its solid classical roots paired with a passion for popular music genres, among which Latin American music and improvisation play a key role. Constantini has performed in over 30 countries around 5 continents. Some of his appearances from recent seasons include concerts in the Berlin Philharmonie, Vienna´s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam´s Concertgebouw, Madrid´s Teatro Real, Barcelona´s Palau de la Música, plus concerts as soloist with orchestras in Europe and abroad. Before this cd he has produced 5 albums under his name, all of which gained great international recognition. His cd AMERICA also under the IBS Classical label brought him a Latin Grammy nomination for best classical album in 2019. This album, XXth Century Tango, is his 6th and the first one in which he plays entirely on the bandoneon. He began his bandoneón studies on his own in 2003 and later under the guidance of bandoneonist Victor Villena. Passionate about the instrument, he has a special interest in broadening its repertoire and has premiered many works, including the bandoneon concerto of composer Daniel Schvetz together with the Metropolitan Orchestra of Lisbon in 2011. He regularly offers bandoneon solo recitals as well as with orchestras and ensembles and shares his concert activities between the piano and the bandoneon. He is one of the very few concert artists who have been able to maintain an active career in two different instruments. As a pianist, he initiated his formal studies at age 13 with his father (Gerardo Constantini) and later received his bachelor´s degree in Finland, his master´s degree in The Netherlands, and finally the diplome de concert in Paris, all of which earned him the highest distinctions. He was a pupil and eventually assistant of maestro Aquiles Delle Vigne, disciple of legendary pianists Claudio Arrau and Gyorgy Cziffra.
Louiza Hamadi Manoukovskaya began her concert activities at age 8, performing as soloist at the Conde Duque auditorium in Madrid. She has been performing ever since both in Spain and abroad, in such places as the Cité Internationale Universitaire of Paris, the Steinway Haus in Munich, the Zaragoza auditorium, or as soloist with orchestra in the National Auditorium of Madrid and the Sports Palace of Madrid (for an audience of over 12000 spectators). She has also performed with the National Orchestra of Algeria, Orchestra of Tunisia, and the Beijing Opera Orchestra with conductor Yu Feng (2012). In 2015 she recorded a CD together with double bassist Antonio Torres for the IBS Classical label, obtaining rave reviews. Born in Algeria into a family of musicians, they relocated to Madrid-Spain while she was a child. She formally began her piano studies at age 4 under guidance of her mother, pianist Marina Manoukovskaya. She attended studies in piano performance at the Conservatory of Aragón in Zaragoza, Spain under tutelage of professor Miguel Ángel Ortega, graduating in 2010 with the highest distinction. Afterwards she did a postgraduate course in piano performance at the Reina Sofía Music School in Madrid under tutelage of Dmitri Bashkirov, obtaining a full scholarship for her studies. She later entered the artist roster of Davidsbuendler, an artist program for outstanding musicians which was presided by Aldo Ciccolini. In 2020 her duo CD with Claudio Constantini is released, in which they make a voyage around the world of tango music. Besides her activities as a classical concert artist, she has a great interest in drawing the general public closer to the piano and to music in general. Therefore she has created several solo or ensemble projects which mix different musical styles and has presented them in unusual settings for classical music.