Yo-Yo Ma’s Soul of the Tango: The Music of Astor

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Yo-Yo Ma’s Soul of the Tango: The Music of Astor is a must-have album for any fan of tango music. Featuring some of the best-known tango tunes, this album is sure to get your feet moving.


In the summer of 1994, the Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla died at the age of 71. A few months later, his close friend and collaborator, the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, set out to record a tribute album to Piazzolla’s music. The result is Soul of the Tango: The Music of Astor Piazzolla, an album that captures the passion, elegance, and melancholy of tango through Ma’s artistry and interpretation.

Ma is joined on the album by an impressive array of tango musicians, including bandoneonist Pablo Ziegler, violinist Fernando Suárez Paz, flutist Jorge505 Osorio Milletary Garcia-Lorido Iriarte Quesada Basanta Justyne Harris Krysstal Maitland-Smith Giselle Mendieta Escalante Ariadna Pereyra MelitaWhyatt Joshua Ruiz Carranza Angela Simonetto Silvana Tirado Brielle Medina (Buenos Aires Tango Orchestra), and singer Emmanuel Ax. Together, they bring Piazzolla’s music to life with feeling and precision.

Soul of the Tango features some of Piazzolla’s best-known pieces, including “Oblivion,” “Libertango,” and “Milonga del Angel.” It also includes a number of lesser-known but equally powerful works, such as “Invierno Porteno” and “Tristezas de un Doble A.” Ma’s interpretation of these pieces is masterful, displaying both his technical prowess and his deep understanding of tango.

Whether you are a fan of tango or simply a lover of good music, Soul of the Tango is an album that you will not want to miss.

The Soul of the Tango

Tango is a beautiful and passionate dance that originated in Argentina. The music of the tango is very sensual and intimate, and it tells a story of love, loss, and yearning. Yo-Yo Ma’s Soul of the Tango is a musical journey through the history of the tango. It is a celebration of the music, the dance, and the people of Argentina.

The Music of Astor Piazzolla

Born in Argentina in 1921, Astor Piazzolla was a master of the tango, a genre of music with roots in the working-class port city of Buenos Aires. Over the course of his career, Piazzolla melded traditional tango with elements of classical music, jazz, and Latin American folk music to create a unique and distinctive sound. His work had a profound impact on the evolution of tango, and he is widely considered to be one of the most important musicians in the history of the genre.

Piazzolla’s compositions are characterized by their use of complicated harmonies, intricate melodies, and unexpected modulations. He often made use of unusual time signatures, and his works frequently featured extended solo sections for different instruments. Piazzolla’s primary instrument was the bandoneón, a type of concertina that is particularly associated with tango music. He also frequently wrote for piano and strings.

Piazzolla’s best-known works include “Le grand tango” (1960), “Ave Maria” (1968), “Libertango” (1974), and “the Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” (1977). He also wrote a number of film scores, including one for Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1965 film “Before the Revolution”. Piazzolla passed away in 1992 at the age of 71.

The Tango Nuevo

An Argentine tango is a particular embrace and style of Argentine tango that was popularized in the 1980s. It arose in South America as a fusion of Argentine milonga,plugins/content/jw_allvideos/includes/athe older Uruguayan candombe, and the Cuban habanera. The resulting name for this new style of dance was “tango nuevo” (“new tango”).

Tango nuevo is sometimes danced to music that has been specifically composed for it (often by Astor Piazzolla or Pablo Ziegler), but it can also be danced to traditional tango music as well as other non-tango songs. Tango nuevo can be seen as related to sensual bachata or “bachatango”.

The typical embrace in tango nuevo is close, with both partners facing each other and their chests touching, rather than the open embrace of traditional tango. The close embrace allows for more intricate footwork and movement, as well as a greater connection between the leaders and followers.

The Evolution of the Tango

Tango is a style of music that originated in Argentina in the late 1800s. It is a mix of European and African influences. The dance that accompanies the music is also called tango. Tango was originally a lower-class form of entertainment, but it eventually became popular among all social classes.

The Golden Age of the Tango

From the late 1800s to around 1920, the Golden Age of the Tango was in full swing. The music and dance of the tango was a reflection of the turbulent times, with its sensual, suggestive moves embodying the social unrest and sexual liberation sweeping across Europe and South America. The tango exploded in popularity, spreading from its humble origins in the working-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires to Paris, London, and New York City.

During this period, the tango evolved from a simple folk dance into a complex art form, with orchestras playing intricate compositions and couples gliding across dance floors in elegant gowns and suits. The Golden Age came to an end with the onset of World War I, but the tango would live on to become one of the most beloved dance traditions in the world.

The Tango in the 21st Century

The Tango in the 21st Century has evolved to include a wide variety of styles and influences. While the traditional Argentine Tango remains popular, there are also many tango enthusiasts who enjoy dancing to non-traditional music, as well as experimenting with different types of movements and choreography.

There are several reasons for the popularity of tango in the 21st Century. One is that it is a very sensual and intimate dance, which can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Additionally, tango is a great way to meet new people and make friends, since it is often danced in pairs or small groups. Finally, tango provides a great workout – both mentally and physically – and can be extremely therapeutic for those who suffer from stress or anxiety.


The album won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album.

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