Astor Piazzolla – Libertango

Astor Piazzolla – Libertango

libertango free sheet music & scores pdf astor piazzolla partituras

Moscow City Symphony “Russian Philharmonic”
Phonograph Jazz Band
Conductor — Honoured Artist of Russia Sergey Zhilin
Soloists — Yuri Medyanik (bandoneon), Rodion Petrov (violin)
Pair of dancers — Inna Svechnikova, Dmitry Chernysh
Moscow International House of Music, Svetlanov Hall
September 30, 2010
A. Piazzolla. Libertango

Sheet Music download.


Libertango is a composition in the style of new tango by composer Astor Piazzolla, recorded and published in 1974 in Milan. The name is given from the merger of the words “freedom” (Spanish libertad) and “tango” (symbolizing Piazzolla’s transition from classical tango to tango nuevo)

According to All Music Guide, the recording was sold on more than 50 releases. The composition is used as a basis in the Grace Jones song “I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)”, as well as in “Jungle Tango” by the Jazz Mandolin Project and “Moi je suis tango” by Guy Marchand, a French musician.


In 1997, Irish folk singer Sharon Shannon recorded a version for her third album entitled Each Little Thing. This recording, accompanied by vocals from Kirsty MacColl, was released under the name ‘MacColl’ only in 2001 on the album The One and Only after the tragic death of the performer. In 2005, Shannon re-released the composition, which was released as the main track of her album.

In 2002, the Australian-British string quartet Bond presented their version of this composition in their second album “Shine”

Renowned Norwegian classical performer Tine Thing Helseth is known for her trumpet playing of many of Piazzola’s works, including libertangos.

Libertango was also played by guitarists Al Di Meola in the 2000 album The Grande Passion and Roman Miroshnichenko in the 2013 album Surreal, as well as the world famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma in the released album Soul of the Tango: The Music of Ástor Piazzolla (1997)


The melody was first heard in Jacques Rivette’s film Northbridge (1981).

This work was also used by Roman Polanski in his film Furious (1988).

In the anime “The Prince of Tennis,” Atobe Keigo and Genichiro Sanada performed this composition, which is why they are often called the “Tango Couple” in the fandom.

Libertango was heard in the film “The Tango Lesson” by British director Sally Potter. Accordionist Petr Dranga and violinist Dmitry Kogan presented their version of the music in a joint performance.

Piazzolla, Astor

Astor Piazzolla (Spanish: Astor Piazzolla; March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) – Argentine composer of the second half of the 20th century, whose works significantly enriched the tango genre, presenting it in a modern key, incorporating elements of jazz and classical music; the founder of the style called tango nuevo (Spanish tango nuevo, “new tango”). Also known as a master of the bandoneon; He often performed his works with various musical groups. In his native Argentina, he is known as ‘El Gran Ástor’ (‘The Great Astor’).


Born on March 11, 1921 in the Argentine city of Mar del Plata, into an Italian family; his grandfather moved from Trani at the end of the 19th century, and his parents were born in Mar del Plata.

He spent his childhood with his parents in New York, where he fell in love with jazz. The family lived in Greenwich Village from 1921 to 1929, then his father opened a pawn shop, and in 1930 they settled in Little Italy. That same year he began learning to play the bandoneon. In 1933, he began taking lessons from the Hungarian pianist Bela Wilda, a student of Rachmaninoff, thanks to whom he became interested in Bach’s work. Vilda recommended mastering the performance of Bach on the bandoneon. In those same years, he met Carlos Gardel, who invited the young man to try his hand at cinema. Astor starred in a cameo role in the film “The Day You Love Me” (1935).

In 1937, he returned to Argentina and played in nightclubs with various musicians, including Anibal Troilo. He continued to take lessons from Alberto Ginastera, and in 1946 he created his first own musical group – “Astor Piazzolla and his characteristic orchestra”.

In the second half of the 1940s, he began to write academic music for the bandoneon, setting out to transform the bandoneon from a pop-orchestral instrument, used mainly for dance accompaniment, into a full-fledged classical instrument. One of the first such works, “Port Rhapsody,” was awarded a special prize in the United States in 1950.

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Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer in 1970

In 1952, he was awarded the French Composers Prize, and the French government provided him with a scholarship to study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, thanks to which he began to create his own musical style.

In 1953, his Buenos Aires Symphony was awarded the Fabian Sevitzky Prize, and in 1954, Sinfonietta was nominated for the Buenos Aires Music Critics Association Award.

At the end of the French period, Piazzolla created two ensembles: the Octet of Buenos Aires and the String Orchestra. The creativity of the ensembles is making a real revolution in the world of urban music, but widespread attention to the new original style is also accompanied by a wave of ruthless criticism, because of which it was subjected to a boycott by Argentine music companies. In 1958, he disbanded both ensembles and moved to New York, where he worked as an arranger. Two years later, Piazzolla returned to Buenos Aires and created a quintet. In the early 1960s, he came to the conclusion that tango was music intended for listening, not for dancing. During the 1960s, he gave concerts, recorded records and toured several times in Argentina, Brazil and the USA.

In 1963 he won the Hirsch Music Prize and wrote the work “Three Symphonic Movements”, which was performed the same year by an orchestra under the direction of Paul Kletzky. In 1965, he collaborated with Jorge Luis Borges, composing music for his poems. The disc ‘Tango’ was released the same year. In 1967, in collaboration with Horacio Ferrer (Spanish: Horacio Ferrer), he wrote the operetta “Maria of Buenos Aires”. Then, at the request of Maestro Calderon, head of the Musical Ensemble of Buenos Aires, he composed the play Tangazo, which was performed by the orchestra during a tour of the United States. In the second half of the 1960s, he wrote “Tango Six” for the Melos Ensemble and “Milonga in D” for violinist Salvatore Accardo; the cycle “Seasons in Buenos Aires” dates back to the same time.

As a result of collaboration with Ferrer, Piazzolla creates a new genre – the tango song. In 1969, the work “Ballad for a Madman” gained worldwide recognition. This more commercial genre makes Piazzolla known to the general public as a prominent representative of the music of Buenos Aires, whereas until this time the composer’s audience consisted mainly of a narrow circle of initiates. In 1970, Piazzolla went to Paris and, together with Ferrer, created the oratorio “The Young People,” which premiered in Sarbrook.

In 1971, Piazzolla created the Ensemble of Nine, with whom the Municipal Council of Buenos Aires soon signed a 2-year contract to hold concerts in Argentina and abroad. The team has great success in Latin America. In 1972, a concert took place in Italy at the Italian-American Institute, and several programs were recorded for Italian television. On August 17, 1972, Piazzolla began working at the Colon Theater; rehearsals prevented the musician from accepting Bernardo Bertolucci’s offer to create music for the film Last Tango in Paris. In August 1972, the Pearl Concert took place in Buenos Aires.

In 1974, he recorded the album “Summit” in Milan with Jerry Mulligen with an orchestra of Italian musicians. In the same year he created one of his most famous works, “Libertango” (“Tango of Freedom”).

In 1976, he wrote the music for the film “It’s Raining in Santiago.”

In 1985, he wrote a work for flute and guitar, “History of Tango (Histoire du Tango)” in four parts, in which he outlined the history of the development of tango. This work was recorded with the participation of the Belgian duo consisting of Marc Grauels and Guy Lukowski and was published in 1986 by Henry Lemoine.

In 1986, together with Gary Burton, he recorded the Vibraphone Suite and New Tango Quintet.

In recent years, Piazzolla preferred to participate in concerts as a soloist, accompanied by symphony orchestras, and sometimes gave concerts with his quintet. He performed in the USA, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Latin America.

In the second half of the 1980s, together with Lalo Schifrin and the Orchestra of St. Luke, he recorded “Concerto for Bandoneon”, “Three Tangos for Bandoneon and Orchestra” and “Punta del Este Suite”; with the Kronos Quartet – the suite “Five Tango Sensations”, which became his last work and for several years occupied a leading position in the ranking of works of academic music.

On August 4, 1990, he suffered a severe stroke and died in Buenos Aires on July 4, 1992 as a result of its consequences. He was buried in the Jardín de Paz cemetery in the town of Pilar, which is part of greater Buenos Aires.


Astor Piazzolla is one of the few composers who was able to record and perform almost all of his works at concerts. In the last 10 years of his life alone, the composer composed more than 300 tangos, 50 melodies for films, including such films as “Piranha” (Luis Berlanga), “Henry IV” (Marco Bellocchio), “Light” (Jeanne Moreau), “ Armageddon’ (French) Russian. (Alain Gesua), “The South” and “Tango, Gardel in Exile” (Fernando Solanas), as well as music for theater plays and ballets. In Italy, the jury of the Critics’ Prize unanimously awarded Piazzolla the First Prize for Best Instrumental Music Disc, noting in its decision: ‘For the courage of the compositions and for the amazing creativity in creating arrangements that give tango a new sound.’

In 1990, Mstislav Rostropovich performed music for cello and piano “Great Tango” in New Orleans, and the same work was performed by Rostropovich on the stage of the Colon Theater at a concert in memory of Piazzolla in 1994.

In February 1993 in Los Angeles, Astor Piazzolla was nominated for a 1992 Grammy Award for ‘Oblivion’ in the category ‘Best Instrumental Composition’. International critics have described the play as one of Piazzolla’s best works.

Among his students is Richard Galliano.


  • Two Argentinians in Paris (with Lalo Schifrin, 1955)
  • Sinfonía de Tango (Orquesta de Cuerdas, 1955)
  • Adiós Nonino (1960)
  • Piazzolla Interpreta A Piazzolla (Quinteto, 1961)
  • Piazzolla … O No? (canta Nelly Vazquez, Quinteto, 1961)
  • Nuestro Tiempo (canta Hector de Rosas, Quinteto, 1962)
  • Tango Contemporáneo (Nuevo Octeto, 1963)
  • Tango Para Una Cuidad (canta Héctor De Rosas, Quinteto, 1963)
  • Concierto en el Philharmonic Hall de New York (Quinteto, 1965)
  • El Tango. Jorge Luis Borges — Ástor Piazzolla (Orquesta and Quinteto, 1965)
  • La Guardia Vieja (1966)
  • La Historia del Tango. La Guardia Vieja (Orquesta, 1967)
  • La Historia del Tango. Época Romántica (Orquesta, 1967)
  • ION Studios (1968)
  • «Мария де Буэнос-Айрес» / María de Buenos Aires (Orquesta, 1968)
  • Piazzolla En El Regina (Quinteto, 1970)
  • Original Tangos from Argentina Vol. 1 & 2 (solo bandeneon, 1970)
  • Pulsación (Orquesta, 1970)
  • Piazzolla-Troilo (Dúo de Bandoneones, 1970)
  • Concerto Para Quinteto (Quinteto, 1971)
  • La Bicicleta Blanca, (Amelita Baltar y Orquesta, 1971)
  • En Persona (recita Horacio Ferrer, Ástor Piazzolla, 1971)
  • Música Popular Contemporánea de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Vol.1 & 2 (Conjunto 9, 1972)
  • Roma (Conjunto 9, 1972)
  • Libertango (Orquesta, 1974)
  • Piazzolla and Amelita Baltar (1974)
  • Summit (Reunión Cumbre) with Gerry Mulligan (Orquesta, 1974)
  • Suite Troileana-Lumiere (Orquesta, 1975)
  • Buenos Aires (1976)
  • Il Pleut Sur Santiago (Orquesta, 1976)
  • Piazzolla & El Conjunto Electrónico (Conjunto Electrónico, 1976)
  • Piazzolla en el Olimpia de Paris (Conjunto Electrónico, 1977)
  • Lo Que Vendrá (Orquesta de Cuerdas and Quinteto Nuevo Tiempo, 1979)
  • Piazzolla-Goyeneche En Vivo, Teatro Regina (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1982)
  • Oblivion (Orquesta, 1982)
  • Suite Punta Del Este (Quinteto, 1982)
  • Live in Lugano (Quinteto, 1983)
  • Concierto de Nácar (1983)
  • SWF Rundfunkorchester (1983)
  • Piazzolla en el Colón (Conjunto 9 y Orquesta Filarmónica del Teatro Colón, 1983)
  • Live in Colonia (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1984)
  • Montreal Jazz Festival (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1984)
  • Live in Wien Vol.1 (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1984)
  • Enrico IV (sound track of film Enrico IV (film)Enrico IV, 1984)
  • Green Studio (1984)
  • Teatro Nazionale di Milano (1984)
  • El Nuevo Tango. Piazzolla y Gary Burton (Quinteto, 1986)
  • El Exilio de Gardel (soundtrack of film El Exilio de Gardel, Quinteto, 1986)
  • Tango: Zero Hour (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1986)
  • Central Park Concert (Quinteto, 1987)
  • Concierto para Bandoneón — Tres Tangos with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Lalo Schifrin (conductor), Princeton University (1987)
  • Sur (soundtrack of film Sur, Quinteto, 1988)
  • Luna. Live in Amsterdam (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1989)
  • Lausanne Concert (Sexteto, 1989)
  • Live at the BBC (1989)
  • La Camorra (Quinteto Tango Nuevo, 1989)
  • Hommage a Liege: Concierto para bandoneón y guitarra/Historia del Tango (1988) with Liège Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Leo Brouwer. The concerto was performed by Piazzolla with Cacho Tirao, the Historia by Guy Lukowski and Marc Grawels.
  • Bandoneón Sinfónico (1990)
  • The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night (Tango apasionado) (1991)
  • Five Tango Sensations (Ástor Piazzolla and Kronos Quartet, 1991)
  • Original Tangos from Argentina (1992)
  • Lausanne Concert(Sexteto, 1993)
  • Central Park Concert 1987 (Quinteto, 1994)
  • 57 Minutos con la Realidad (Sexteto, 1996)
  • Tres Minutos con la Realidad (Sexteto, 1997)

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