Fugo y misterio is a short piece by Ástor Piazzolla composed in 1968 that quickly became one of the most well-known and appreciated pieces of the Argentinian musician. Although it is often played on its own, the piece was part of María de Buenos Aires, a surrealist "tango operita" (tango opera) written in collaboration with poet Horacio Ferrer, recounting the death then subsequent resurrection of a young prostitue in Buenos Aires. However, the character of Maria is also the image of the tango itself, as well as all of Argentina as a whole. The suspended note upon which Fugo y misterio ends gracefully concludes the story of rebirth...
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Ástor Piazzolla's Fuga y misterio is a piece that synthesises the different cultural influences of modern Argentina: at the core of the tango lie elements of classical music, found in the use of the fugal form, as well as features of jazz in its instrumentation. Fuga y misterio, in fact, is written for bandeon, violin, double bass, and piano, but also for vibraphone, electric guitar, drums, and flute! And the mystery to which its title refers to is that of creation, diversity, and the presence of multiplicity that gives birth to beauty. Ástor Piazzolla’s Fuga y misterio is part of the tango opera María de Buenos Aires which tells the story of a prostitute who, after her death, gives birth to a daughter to whom she gives her own name, María. The composition is a parable that could represent the history of the tango itself, which over time has been able to reinvent itself and rise from the ashes. If the silver novelist Borges spoke in one of his works of “learning to die and taking care to be reborn,” Piazzolla seems to have adopted this adage with its prophetic tone.