Thursday, 30 May, 2024 in Culture, Live Reviews, Music

Upcoming Event: Tango Mass World Premiere

Artists: Au Arias, Nicolás Maceratesi, The Mackintosh Choir + String Quartet
Venue: St John’s-Renfield Church, Glasgow
Date: Sunday 2 June 2024 – 7pm
Festival: Westfest

I thought I didn’t know what a bandoneón was until I discovered I’d heard it played a thousand times before!

And here is my opportunity to hear it played live right here in Glasgow by one of the world’s leading exponents.

A unique event is happening in Glasgow on Sunday, with the Tango Mass World Premiere taking place on my doorstep. This piece has been composed and will be conducted by the Argentinian Musical Director of The Mackintosh Choir, Au Arias. The magnificent choir will be joined by a string quartet and, flying in from his base in Italy, Au’s fellow Argenitian musician, Nicolás Maceratesi the internationally acclaimed bandoneón player, will add his own sprinkle of magic in what promises to be a very special musical event.

Still don’t know what a bandoneón is? I’ll let Au explain in his own words:

“Bandoneón is the most distinctive instrument of Tango. It has the ability to touch souls with a single sustained note. And it has the ability to take you on a journey to Buenos Aires without ever having been there. Composing a Tango’ish music without bandoneón, is like playing football without the ball.

In this piece, the bandoneón is not used as a virtuoso-soloist. But its tone is crucial to feel the general mood of the music.”

Here’s a short piece of Nicolás in full flow… (you’ll have the same ‘Ah, that’s what it is?’ moment I had).

The orchestra conductor, music educator and composer of Tango Mass, Au Arias, has an enviable musical CV. Highlights in his career include the premiere and conducting of his own opera ‘Gruta de Ninfas‘ in 2014. Later, in 2015, pianist Horacio Lavandera featured Au Arias, dedicating a complete TV broadcast on Arias’ music. In 2017, as music arranger, Au worked with Al Pacino in his performance at Teatro Colón -Buenos Aires. His performances and commissions have extended to the USA, Argentina, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico and now Scotland!

Here is a short clip of Nicolás accompanying Al Pacino not acting, but performing in Tango mode!

If you’ve been to any previous concerts by The Mackintosh Choir, you’ll know the high standard of excellence they aspire to (and reach).

I’ve checked, and there are still some tickets available for this exciting event. Contact for availability.

And the last word goes to Au:

“Every single person attending this concert will witness the birth of something new. Embarking on the journey to hear something that has never been performed before is an unforgettable experience.

By hearing the Tango Mass I hope the audience can enjoy the rare tone blending of choir, bandoneon, strings and piano. The audience will also hear the resonance of Tango in a choral setting and the rare chance of hearing a bandoneón by Nicolás Maceratesi, a bandoneónist who will come from Italy especially to perform with us.”

If you make it along, give us a wave or at least a wee Scottish/Latin American flourish!!

Stephen Cameron


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