Astor Piazzolla

Verano porteño, tango (incl. in Cuatro estaciones porteñas [The Four Seasons])

    Description by Joseph Stevenson

    This is one of Astor Piazzolla's best-known tango nuevo (new tango) compositions. It derives from one of his most fertile and creative periods, during which he advanced the venerable Argentine dance/popular music form into new territory.

    By the time he wrote this work, Piazzolla must have realized that he was in the position of the proverbial prophet without honor in his own country. He had returned to Buenos Aires in July 1960 after a disappointing attempt in the United States to create what he then called "tango-jazz." His spirit was, however, far from broken, but he was personally disappointed that just the type of revolution he was seeking in tango had been accepted in Brazil when that country's national dance, the samba, evolved into a new form called either jazz-samba or "bossa nova," ("new thing").

    At home, however, Piazzolla's efforts ran into walls of controversy. He and a leading exponent of classic tango, the dancer Jorge Vidal (whose style Piazzolla detested and called "archaic"), actually came to blows in the studios of Argentina's Channel 7. Sometimes taxi drivers would refuse to transport him, accusing him of having "destroyed the tango." He enjoyed some success among certain segments of the public and was encouraged when RCA Victor, CBS, and Philips Records all issued LPs or 45 rpm EPs of his music. This raised interest abroad in Piazzolla's music. Argentine president Arturo Illia responded to requests to include Piazzolla on cultural exchanges by backing a tour to Brazil and the United States.

    Before Piazzolla left on the trip, he had a commitment on the table: a set of four compositions for a play called Melenita de Oro, by Alberto Rodriguez Muñoz. One of the pieces was Verano porteño. The word "Porteño" is an adjectival nickname pertaining to Buenos Aires, so the title is an informal way to say "Buenos Aires Summer." Newspapers found the music "original and agreeable." Piazzolla over time wrote three other pieces with similar titles for spring, winter, and autumn, and later assembled the four into a suite called "Buenos Aires Seasons." As a sort of exotic modern counterpart to the Four Seasons violin concertos of Vivaldi, these have enjoyed particular popularity among Piazzolla's large corpus of tangos, even though they were not initially conceived as a set. Either separately or as part of this suite, the very pretty, lightly swaying tango Verano porteño became one of Piazzolla's most beloved works. Often heard in a version for guitar solo, it has also been arranged for the small instrumental combinations in which the composer's music is typically heard.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Music Video Distribution / VGo Recordings VG 1023
    2016 Ars Produktion / Ars Produktion ARS 38183
    2016 Sony Classical / Sony Music 309294
    2015 Albany Music Distribution TROY 1571
    2015 Decca 4811489
    2015 Naxos 8578317
    2014 BIS BIS 2108
    2014 Challenge Classics CC 72660
    2013 Challenge Classics CC 72610
    2012
    10
    EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099908832
    2012 Warner Classics 671454
    2012 Dux Records DUX 0904
    2012 Square One SQ 1021201
    2012 MDG / Zebralution
    2012 Dreyfus Records 36976
    2011 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099994848
    2011 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler CDPH 11002
    2010 89th Street US D5Q10
    2010 Sony Music 88697691112
    2010 En Vivo / Vivace PR
    2010 TwoPianists 103901
    2009 ABC Classics 4763389
    2009 Gega / Gega New 348
    2008 Warner Classics & Jazz 2564 69849-8
    2008 BMG Japan 38060
    2008 Bella Musica / Zebralution
    2008 CBC Records 1176
    2007 RCA Victor / RCA / Sony BMG 82876742702
    2007 MSR Classics 1246
    2007 Rhino
    2007 Manteca / Union Square Music MANTDBL 514
    2007 Naxos 570523
    2007 Tonar / Tonar Music 70715
    2007 Union Music Group / Union Records 601122
    2006 Document 205554
    2006 Pepperland 372
    2006 GuitarSounds 3010
    2005 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler 05010
    2005 Aeon AECD 0424
    2005 BGS Records (British Guitar Society) BGSCD114
    2005 Centaur Records 2740
    2005 Atlantic
    2004 Phantom Import Distribution / Sony BMG SRCS8237
    2004 DG Deutsche Grammophon / Edge Music (Deutsche Grammophon) / Edge Music B0002125
    2004 Resonance 3003
    2004 Prince Entertainment 9805
    2003 Milan 36020
    2003 EMI Music Distribution 585130
    2003 Dreyfus Jazz / Dreyfus Records 36642
    2003 DG Deutsche Grammophon 469 376-2
    2003 BMG 82876571402
    2002 Milan 35992
    2002 Meridian Records 84447
    2002 MDG MDG 61811302
    2002 Lucid 802163
    2002 EMI Music Distribution 67903
    2002 EMI Classics 5679432
    2002 META Records 010
    2001 Legacy Entertainment CBX001
    2001 Raumklang 2006
    2001 Romeo Entertainment 7210
    2001 Erato / Warner Bros. 3984233062
    2001 Ars Harmonica 97
    2001 Koch / Koch Schwann 36927
    2000 Ensayo 9714
    2000 Sony Classical 89141
    1999 Chandos CHAN 9732
    1999 ATMA Classique 2211
    1999 Sipario Dischi 53
    1999 Sony Music Distribution 60813
    1998 Dorian 80159
    1997 Sony Music Distribution 63011
    1997 Arabesque / Marquis Classics / Marquis Records 81203
    1997 Sony Classical 62728
    1997 Carlton Classics 3036600262
    1997 Milan 35842
    1997 Mandala MAN 4903
    1997 Mandala MAN 4891
    1996 Teldec 0630134742
    1996 Teldec / Elektra 13474
    1996 Milan 35782
    1996 Laserlight 14300
    1996 Laserlight 15929
    1995 Yellow Tail Records 10103
    1995 Chiron Records 4853
    1995 Centaur Records 2181
    1995 Talent Records 41
    1994 Klavier Records 11045
    1991 Atlantic 81636-2
    1991 Atlantic 81636
    Chesky Records 107
    Calliope 9230
    Chiron Records 4855
    Going For A Song 180
    Channel Classics 9322
    Walsingham 8031
    Atlantic 81636
    Talent Records 291041
    Skylark Music 9701
    Symposion 110
    Personality 23192
    PIMA Productions / Randall Avers 40174