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Dos Improntus - Oscar Edelstein & Raúl Barboza

Updated on May 12, 2015

"Virtuosic ears"

The album "Dos Improntus" is a duet for piano and accordion played by composer and pianist, Oscar Edelstein, and accordionist, Raúl Barboza. In February 2006, the two Argentinean musicians, both famous in their respected fields of contemporary and folkloric music met in a recording studio in Buenos Aires to play together.

The idea, motivated by Oscar Edelstein, was that they both looked for common ground between their styles while at the same time breaking the mould of their usual style of playing. With their very different musical histories and styles they came together in the studio for one recording session in order to find new sounds and connections between their instruments.

The album was recorded to two single takes without cuts at Estudios Cosentino, Buenos Aires on 17th February 2006. The artwork for the album was made from the original paintings by the famous Argentinean surrealist-watercolourist, Fermín Eguía, (winner of the Premio Konex, Platinum prize in 2012, and Gran Premio de Honor del Salón Nacional de Pintura, 2011) made in response to listening to the disc.

Composer - Oscar Edelstein
Composer - Oscar Edelstein

Oscar Edelstein

Oscar Edelstein (La Paz, Entre Ríos) is considered one of the most important and original composers in Argentina. He is a notable pianist and an award-winning researcher. He is known for his un-classical style of playing and the range of timbres he produces in the piano.

Recently his work "Cristal Argento I" - for full orchestra with the electronic process of the Sonic Crystal - especially commissioned by Basel Sinfonietta, was premiered in Switzerland in 2011. The electronic process acted like a transparency.

In his compositions Edelstein often explores the lines between music and theatre, music and technology, and music and psychology. He has a close connection to theatre and dance having made music for many theatre pieces of some of Argentina’s most important directors. He also has a reputation for his vocal scores and his many operatic works.

Raúl Barboza
Raúl Barboza

Raúl Barboza

Born in Buenos Aires, the son of a chamamé artist of Guaraní origins Raúl Barboza is recognized as a chamamé artist of international status. Chamamé is an Argentine folk music (sometimes called the Corrientes’ Polka) and Barboza was one of the first to introduce it to Europe.

He is an outstanding accordion player and his recordings have received several awards; Grand prix du disque de l’Académie Charles Cros, four Clefs Evénement Télérama, one "Diapason d’Or" and one "Choc Le Monde de la Musique". He has recorded more than thirty discs and is seen as an ambassador of chamamé. He regularly tours in Argentina, Canada, Japan and many European countries.

Dos Improntus on youtube

"Although Oscar Edelstein is a representative of avant-garde music, he has not hesitated to incorporate to Raúl Barboza in one of his most beautiful creations.”

Graciela Silvestri interviewed by Página 12


For the recording Raúl Barboza played on an accordion called "El Morocho" crafted in Italy in the house, Piermaría, in the central-eastern Italian town of Castelfidardo, which is known as the international capital of builders of accordions. Barboza has had this accordion since 1987.

Edelstein played on a Steinway Grand piano, series No.341.230.

Fabiola Ana Russo was the Recording Technician, Daniel Hernandez the Sound Engineer, and Assistant Technicians, Pablo Chimenti and Hernán Kerlleñevich.

No compression, modification or editing was used on the original takes.

The third track "Backstage" reflects the conversations that were had during the times in between the recording.

EDELSTEIN: “I wanted to play with the idea of synthesis, to generate something that I call composition in the moment. Somehow in this disc I tried to make a synthesis in the place of musical collision with Raúl. It was there that micro reasons appeared, fragments, melodies, materials that could be developed...| BARBOZA: “I always was a finder of new things. I was always open to experiment [...] So when Oscar proposed to me this idea I accepted…”

interview with Gabriel Plaza, La Nación

Timbrical understanding

In an interview Edelstein describes his motivation in asking Barboza to record came from a desire to create a synthesis of the classical and the popular, to make an exchange where each could understand something new about the other. He remembered as a child his father listening to Barboza, so the idea to record was both a kind of homage to his father and a way to find what he calls "the revolutionary Barboza."

"I have not met many, in the contemporary language, who can read the space and the musical situation as Barboza reads it, that can understand tímbrically as he understands, and that can move back to go forward like he does. That is modernism."

Edelstein in an interview with Gabriel Plaza, La Nación

True stories

Barboza has a poetic approach to playing the accordion. He thinks of melody as like telling a story. He plays with silence and the "breath" of the instrument. His search to tell a "true story." He says that for him it is as if the accordion is an extension of his spirit. In this sense his music is very connected to nature and also to the indigenous community of the Guarani Indian community, such as that of Paî Antonio Martinez, in Fracran, the Argentine province of Misiones, with whom he has worked.

Edelstein has a similarly strong connection to both nature and poetry, particularly as he is from the province of Entre Rios which literally means between rivers. The landscape is dominated by the River Paraná which is the second longest river in South America. Edelstein's hometown of Paraná is famous for being the home to Juan Laurentino Ortiz, the important Argentine poet who spent his last years in the town and whose poem "El Rio" was used by Edelstein as the final aria in his opera, Los Monstruito'.

“Oscar was very generous. He showed me what he did in the piano and directly we went to record. But as I didn't want to “land the first blow”, I put myself behind the sulky (cart), because I knew that he was going to carry me well, and if we fell, we fell the two. But by force of intuition I could get an inkling of what was going to happen. I imagined his paths, his silences, his strengths...”

Barboza from interview in article "Por la senda de Atahualpa" with Pablo Gianera, Perfil


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