Por Una Cabeza
My name is Gabriel Almario. I will be performing Por Una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel. Por Una Cabeza is a tango composed by Gardel in 1935. It compares horse racing to an addiction to women. Not long after it was recorded, Gardel, along with the lyricist for the piece, Alfredo Le Pera, and other tango musicians, died in a plane crash.
I chose this piece because circa April 2022, I participated in All County Orchestra in Durham, NC. Por Una Cabeza was a part of the concert program and it was a pretty thrilling piece to perform. As a cellist, I was only able to play the harmony, but I still enjoyed the thrill of performing. Soon after the concert, I was able to easily find well arranged sheet music for the tango and printed it out. It wasn’t until late 2022 that I decided to begin learning it. It was a joy. I was going really smoothly until an infamous forte part with a complex rhythm with triplets. Once there, I hit a roadblock and winter break.
Over winter break, I was close to unmotivated to practice. I just wanted to enjoy my time home from school and not worry about anything related to it. Everyonce and awhile I would hop on my piano and practice for a few minutes and feel like I was making little to no progress. One day, after lots of uneventful practice sessions, I was able to play it slowly, with little to no mistakes. I became enthusiastic and attempted to speed it up. Over the course of a few more practice sessions, I was able to bring it more up to speed and play close to the entire piece.
Once school started again, I was well on my way to performing in the next piano recital. After days of practice and waiting for my teacher to ask how my progress was going, I was asked to play. After playing, I was happy with my finished result. A week later, I was performing in the recital and received some congratulatory remarks from my teacher.