La Barra focuses on recreating the music of the Osvaldo Pugliese orchestra. A full orquesta típica with twelve accomplished musicians, devoted to discovering the secrets of Pugliese's recordings. And dedicated to enjoying the fun of performing that magic live on stage. The sound of four bandoneons, four violins, viola, cello, double bass and piano is simply amazing.
The group convincingly and authentically captures the lush sound of Pugliese's orchestra. Extremely expressive, with aggressive rhythms and affectionate melodies. Listening to La Barra is an overwhelming experience. Intense, too: a tango by Pugliese is like an opera by Wagner, but in three minutes. Tangos like Gallo ciego, Nochero soy, Zum, and Malandraca have been reproduced by many groups, but no group knows how to grasp the essence of Pugliese like La Barra.
Ready-made sheet music for Pugliese's orchestra does not exist, and many aspects of the style (like a yumba or a pelotita) are impossible to write down in notes anyway. La Barra uses detailed transcriptions made by bandoneon player Gerard van Duinen. During rehearsals the musicians discuss (sometimes tiny but highly essential) details in the original recordings to get even closer to the grooves and craziness of the music.
I love Pugliese style. It is grooving and mysterious, tempting and extreme. Transcribing the recordings is a lot of work, but it helps me to understand more and more about this very specific way of playing. And rehearsing and performing with La Barra is just wonderful. www.gerardvanduinen.com
During my double bass studies I have never anticipated that Argentinian tango would play such a big role in my life. But now, a few decades later, I know the basics of the dance, play in a number of tango ensembles and for more than ten years I have a tuning and restoration workshop for bandoneons. Double bass is of course the best and most beautiful instrument there is, and Argentinian tango gives perhaps the most joy one can have on a bass, and playing Pugliese in a large Orquesta Tipica is the icing on the tango cake! www.tismarang.com
What appeals me about the tango, is the variation of melancholy and passion, of beautiful sounds and violent rhythms. The amalgamation of contradictory emotions is what I have learned living two years in Brazil. My passion for the tango came next. It is wonderful to play in La Barra with passionate musicians all loving the music of Osvaldo Pugliese.
About a decade ago my long-cherished wish to play bandoneon came true, after I was completely blown away by Astor Piazzolla and his bandoneon much earlier. During my steady mastering of the instrument, it turned out that there is much more beautiful tango music out there. Over time, Pugliese has become a favorite tango personality of mine.
I grew up in a musical family, between the farms in the Flemish countryside. I found my own way crossing mountains and valleys ... and when the Argentine Tango came on my musical path I felt the energy flow. In 2004-2005 on a study trip in Buenos Aires I could indulge and develop myself musically. Powerful personalities like Emilio Balcarce, Osvaldo Pugliese, Pablo Ziegler, Julian Peralta inspire me to this day.
I have been playing the violin since I was nine years old and was initially classically trained. Various orchestras followed and also a lot of chamber music. Made a short trip to the cello, and then back to the familiar violin. With my string orchestra organized two tours in France. For more than seven years I have been captivated by the rousing sounds of the tango music in Tango Divergente as the first violinist. My motto is: making music together is life!
My fascination with the tango began over 25 years ago with the dance. Having been a ‘ballet girl’ since the age of five, the basic principle of tango dance -to improvise with a partner on the music, in the here and now- never ceases to move me. Around 2015, at the time when I switched from playing the (classical) violin to the viola, we set up the tango orchestra Tango Divergente, which gave me the opportunity to study the tango also from a musician’s point of view. Playing in La Barra, exploring in-depth the music of one of the greatest tango maestros in all time, is a fantastic experience, that for me combines my two great passions, music and dance.
Mark has a very broad musical experience, from classical to punk, from pop to avant-garde, playing anything with keys or knobs. He has toured around North America and all over Europe, and studied and played tango in Buenos Aires. Mark began tango in San Francisco and played with several tango groups, and he continues with various groups in the Netherlands. Mark currently lives in Amsterdam, performing, accompanying and teaching, on- and offline. He plays and conducts in musicals, with several tango groups, most notably Trasnoche and La Barra, as well as working with choirs, singers and performers.
I have been playing the cello since childhood and over time have gained a lot of experience with chamber music and symphony orchestras. Especially being on stage with my own salon orchestra was invaluable to me. Although I have been practicing Argentine tango as a dance for 25 years, it was only since 2015 that I found the connection between dance and music. The reinforcement of both here is a great experience for me.
Although I have played classical violin for a long time, I found the ultimate challenge in performing Pugliese with this fantastic group of musicians. In my free time I fiddle around with satellites and electronics
Osvaldo Pugliese (1905-1995) was a pianist, composer and orchestra leader from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is widely respected for his enormous influence on the development of tango music. At the age of 19 he wrote the famous composition Recuerdo and after playing in several ensembles he started his own orquesta tipica (tango orchestra) in 1939.
His ensemble kept evolving and performing until his death. Unlike some other orchestra leaders, he was not an authoritarian leader but an amiable man who, inspired by communism, allowed the qualities of others to surface and shared in the recognition with them. Legendary tango musicians remained faithfully connected to his orchestra for years and were thus able to contribute to the development of a completely unique signature within the genre.
La Barra is available for tangofestivals and large venues. Contact us for possibilities.
The orchestra rehearses in tangoclubs in The Netherlands, sometimes including a concert. Our next concert is in Cuartito Azul, Rotterdam on February 26th, 2023
Contact us on ObscureMyEmail or call us Manon +316 48405162 Peter +316 23779950 Ingeborg +316 23657730