Ep. #89: Featuring Sensational Strings from Mixtape
In 1970 Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice finished their labor of love, Jesus Christ Superstar, a concept album described as a "rock opera". Imagine the unmatched bravura required to believe that a musical, documenting the last 7 days of Jesus’ life from the perspective of Judas, could become a Broadway sensation! Not surprisingly, producers initially rejected the idea…until the album shot to number 1 on the Billboard charts. Jesus Christ Superstar opened on Broadway in 1971 to an already enthusiastic fan base and has since become a musical theater standard.
Meanwhile, in 1969, native Argentine composer, Astor Piazzolla, completed “Invierno” or “Winter” - the second installment of his suite Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas. Rejected from his home country for reshaping its native tango to unimagined extremes, Piazzolla fled to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, one of the most influential teachers of composition of the 20th century. Ultimately, with her encouragement, Piazzolla returned to Argentina and established nuevo tango - a blend of the traditional Argentine tango with classical and jazz elements. His nuevo tango style is evident in all four works representing the seasons.
These two musical genres are further fused by our friends at Mixtape who cleverly combine Piazzolla’s “Invierno” and Superstar’s “Gethsemane” into an original arrangement. We welcome back Michael Siess and Misha Vayman on violins, Juan-Salvador Carrasco on cello, and Nathan Ben-Yehuda on piano.