Katica Ill̩nyi РExtraordinary passion

In our heading, we ask performers to talk about a song or piece of music, which is important for them. This month, Katica Illényi shares, what Astor Piazzolla’s „The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” means to her.



It may happen, that we already know about something, though we always pass by, however at one point when it is seen from a new perspective, it inspires us and its significance completely changes. This happened to me recently regarding Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. I have heard it several times, but it spoke to me just now: this situation might exists because Saul Cosentino an argentine composer, has reached out to me through the internet, he has been composing modern tangos throughout his whole life, also he was Piazzolla’s pupil and then later on his best friend. He recommended me his own pieces, which I have started to play and to have a closer relationship with Tango. Before, I have worked with jazz, classical music, nearly with all the genres, but until this point, tango did not played an important role in my repertoire, though the above mentioned piece had such an influence on me, that I felt like I never wanted to do something so much than learning it – I will play it on the 21st of October on my “Tango Classic” night. I believe one must grow up  and be mature enough for tango, since this music can be delivered when we have experienced good and bad. For example a young ballet dancers body is capable of any kind of movement, however if he/she is only twenty years old and he/she did not experience a few loves and dissappointments, the performance will be much different, than of a fellow artist who is around the age of retirement with his/her 45 years, who is able to express such feelings, which are more interesting and more expressive. I connect with tango in the same way: I have played so many things, I have tried so many genres and I have went through so many things, that I believe both technically and due to my age, I acquired the needed skills to be able to give a complex performance. As this piece goes through the four seasons, everything can be found, which gives the genre’s passion and dynamism, it brings you through the emotional scale with such a drive, that you are in extasy and can “tear” the violin. Recently I have been started practicing argentine tango dance, which has similar effect, it is like a drug, you can completely get addicted, but it has only positive effects.

Astor Piazzola did not compose the different parts in the same time, but it has been merged, he did not play the full opus, quite often he only played one or two seasons. The piece I perform was transposed to violin and bowers by a russian composer called Lord Desyatnikov. It is interesting that for europeans, tango is not really played on concerts, though these are the songs I make the highest success with – maybe because it is about life, man, woman, and we also experience something with it, which we might have experienced before or we want to in the future.  



The piece slides through four seasons, while it is about love, certainly – as it is with all the good pieces – we are able to find deepness and beauty. It has special dynamism, in the season of autumn the violin is not accompanied by anything, it is not playing a melodic cadence, though bitter melodies, when the big band comes back the whole piece is filled with emotions and energy again. It always reminds me, that at the end of the summer we are able to become so miserable, as the storms come, temperature decrease, but we accept it in the end. I can see the landscape in front of me as I am playing, people become lethargic, nature dies around us, though in the end, it becomes positive and it ends in a dancy mood, since life goes on and it is useless to be sad about it. Winter is the slowest, most peaceful movement, as the season itself: nothing happens, we move in, we try to survive besides the stove, though it is full of joyful moments such as Christmas. Then comes Spring with full of serenity, a lot of quick movements, every moment is fully expressional.  

What I truly love in performing the piece is, that when I play classical or baroque, it is not polite to vibrate too passionately, slide onto notes, or express excessive emotional burts, argentine tango is totally different: in this genre you may do nearly everything, which allows you to express feelings as passionately as you are able to. What I generally tend to hold back due to politeness, I can release here…

Published by Magyar Krónika

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