I have only recently added Argentinian Tango to the (long!) list of my favourite alternative violin genres…God may Help me if there are yet more to come! I am not sure how it’s possible to feel that much intoxicated by a particular style of music, as I felt onstage with Ville Hiltula Quartet at Korjaamo, on the annual International Frostbite-tango-festival. First of all, there was the right venue, the right people and anticipation that created a perfect moment for us. Secondly, we had a compilation of musicians deeply devoted to the art of the Tango Argentine. Although I had been involved with the style for much less time compared to the others, I felt at home and able to turn the violin techniques fully into the service of the classic Argentinian tango composers/arrangers.
I think one of the greatest assets for a violinist to be succesful on interpreting the Tango Argentine, is a drama driven and playful musicianship. The specifics of this tango style can be regarded as cathegories of details in techniques and frasing, but it will not sound “real” without one’s own input of emotions and drive.
From purely technical point of view, I find the foundation of a Russian Violin School very appropriate for making the tango sound as it should; reminiscent of the recognizable styles such as diSarli, d’Arienzo or Pugliese, yet with a personal variation and dynamics. The strong and heavy bowarm, generous vibrato hand and forearm engagement in separate fast notes are a few of the key assets, in my opinion, that lead to an impression of an “Argentinian Tango Violin”.