A feel-good tango from musicians at Baltimore School for the Arts

Tim Smith
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
For a quick pick-me-up, check out a video of Baltimore School for the Arts students playing "Libertango."

Whether you're stranded by the snow or annoyed there wasn't enough of it to keep you from being at the usual grind, this video ought to give you a lift. The infectious performance will be worth returning to any old time your mood needs lightening.

The other day, at a Baltimore School for the Arts event, a string ensemble offered a terrific account of Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango." The arrangement is by 17-year-old cellist Luka Stefanovic, a junior at the school.

"I found a couple of different versions online and didn't really like any of them," Stefanonvic says. "When we had a four-day weekend in mid-February, I went home and threw together a version. We had a week to learn and memorize it."

"Libertango," written in 1974 for a modest instrumental grouping that included the traditional bandoneon that Piazzolla was a master of, has frequently been arranged by others in myriad ways. This latest treatment easily holds its own.

"We don't have a cultural connection to the tango, and only a couple of [the students] knew it," says Stefanovic, whose father is longtime Baltimore Symphony Orchestra violinist Ivan Stefanovic. "I think it became a lot of people's favorite piece to do because of the high energy. It's music in a soulful way."

(UPDATE: I should note that the mood at the Baltimore School for the Arts and all over the city's public schools is anything but light these days, given the potential devastating budget cuts. A performance like this kinetic "Libertango" might be harder to come by in the future, if the situation doesn't improve.) 

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