Misa Tango

For solos, choir and orchestra


Misa Tango. Musica di Luis Bacalov

Misa Tango is a musical piece like none previously written. Conceived by Luis Bacalov, the work is based on the ordinary Latin of the Catholic mass, but it is written in Spanish. Misa Tango combines disparate elements into a unity by blending different musical genres, creating a nostalgic but joyful musical plot, highlighting the actual character of Tango. Solo voices and instrumental rhythms, bandoneón and solo violin, great quotes. The refrain starts with the Kyries, reminding us immediately of Verdi; then follows the Gloria, with strong echos of Bernstein marked as “Milonga Time”, and there are well pronounced percussion of the Creed, Misa Tango is all this: a complete, exciting work, and always current.

“This work uses the text of the Spanish Ordinary of the Mass articulated in the five traditional sung parts: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. The main motivation for not using the full text of the Ordinary, which in any case has historical precedents, was dictated by the aspiration – using an artistic form of great spiritual and musical tradition – to broaden participation and include people who do not necessarily have the same beliefs, thus emphasising aspects of the God of the Mass that are common to Christians, Jews and Muslims.

Moreover, this is the same aspiration that governs the search for dialogue, proximity and understanding among different peoples and faiths. The work is one of several Masses and compositions with a religious character, written with popular musical traditions in mind: in this case tangos, milongas and candombles (the so-called ‘Rioplatense music’). Although this ‘music–poetry–dance’ born in the slums has made its social ascent further to the success of Tango in Europe and in the United States, it has always been regarded as something that conveys feelings and emotions ‘of dubious purity’. Going against the flow, I suspected that ‘the sad thought that is danced’ (Ernesto Sabato), ‘the sinful Tango’, contained a ‘sublime’ expressive potential. It is this path that I have attempted to explore, using a straightforward and simple musical language where singing (solos and choir) is also Faith, the instrumental interludes Meditation and the bandoneon, Tango’s prince instrument, also a symbol of a particular humanity, “the porteño”, “el rioplatense”, picaresque and sad, arrogant and humble, who confronts the Immense and Divinity.”

“I remember that while I was writing, in some particularly intense moments, I had the feeling that something other than me was guiding my hand. I was deeply moved.  Western art is so imbued with the sacred that it is impossible not to come to terms with transcendence. In my life I felt the need to get in touch with the divine through music, and I did. Purely.  I have great respect for the figure of Jesus, there is something that upsets me in his message.”
Luis Bacalov

Genre: classical – tango

Misa Tango:
1. Kyrie
2. Gloria
3. Credo
4. Sanctus
5. Agnus Dei

6. Tangosaín
Luis Bacalov

7. Adiós Nonino
Astor Piazzolla, orchestration Luis Bacalov

8. Libertango
Astor Piazzolla, orchestration Luis Bacalov

Ana Maria Martinez mezzosoprano
Plácido Domingo baritono
Héctor Ulises Passarella bandoneón
Choir and Orchestra Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Director Myung-Whun Chung

Misa Tango. Opera concepita da Luis Bacalov. Direttore Myung-Whun Chung. Héctor Ulises Passarella bandoneón
Misa Tango. Opera concepita da Luis Bacalov. Direttore Myung-Whun Chung. Plácido Domingo baritono. Héctor Ulises Passarella bandoneón

Credits Silvia Lelli




Edition: Deutsche Grammophon

Eleutheria Edizioni Musicali