Sunday, October 28, 2012

Townsend: Cinco Preludios by Pujol, No. 1

Máximo Diego Pujol was born in Buenos Aires in 1957 and is both a classical guitarist and a composer. His compositions are profoundly influenced by the great Argentinean tango composer Astor Piazzolla. There are three basic kinds of tango: the tango proper is urban and moderate in tempo; the milonga, of rural origin, is noted for its contemplative and somewhat melancholy character. The quicker candombe reveals its African origins with its rhythmic richness such as the abundant syncopations, ostinatos and displaced accents.

I believe that the first pieces I saw by Pujol--and the first published--were the Cinco Preludios (Five Preludes) I am going to post now. I learned them soon after they were published and have enjoyed playing them ever since. They are modern in sensibility, but not in compositional technique. They are direct and expressive without hidden complexities.

Pujol describes the first prelude, Preludio rockero as follows:
"Rockero" is related to rock music: anyone or anything connected with rock music can be described as "rockero". Buenos Aires was the scene, a few years ago, of an important rock movement, though there is some controversy as to whether it is truly 'national'. Be that as it may, the influence of rock on Argentine music, even before its world-wide acceptance, has been great, notably so on the tango.
And here is the Preludio rockero, No. 1 from Cinco Preludios by Máximo Diego Pujol. The photos are of the first edition of the score, the composer, the first page of the score, tango dancers and myself:

UPDATE: I forgot to tie this in with my previous post about the Latin American prelude form. These preludes by Pujol, like those of Villa-Lobos, also for guitar, break with the long tradition of the prelude which was a piece in one tempo with one main musical idea. The modern Latin American prelude for guitar always has contrasting sections with different themes and different tempos. The preludes by Pujol for example, have a quick inner section if the outer sections are slow and a slow inner section if the outer sections are quick.

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