Marcos Mundstock highlights with Les Luthiers

The legendary Argentine artist leaves a huge legacy with his work at Les Luthiers, one of the most important ensembles in Latin America

Marcos Mundstock

We bring you a compilation of Marcos Mundstock’s memorable moments at Les Luthiers. / Photo: youtube.com/Les Luthiers

LatinAmerican Post | Luis Hernández Liborio

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Leer en español: Momentos destacados de Marcos Mundstock con Les Luthiers

On April 22, the death of Marcos Mundstock at the age of 77, one of the best-known faces of the Argentine ensemble Les Luthiers , was announced in the international press. According to the BBC, the musician had been ill for more than a year, despite this the news was surprising because only Jorge Maronna remains from the original quartet, since Mundstock's death joins those of Daniel Rabinovich in 2015 and founder Gerardo Masana in 1973.



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Mundstock at Les Luthiers

The magic of Les Luthiers extends beyond music, its combination of different disciplines makes it one of the most important ensembles in Latin America. Their ingenuity and originality have led them to be known even outside the region. Mundstock was part of the ensemble since 1967, the year in which it was founded by Gerardo Masana, although they had worked together in other ensembles for a long time and since then he became one of the pillars for his voice and narrative capacity that were an essential part of the dynamics of their shows.

Mundstock was an announcer and it is easy to remember him for being the one who, with a folder in hand, opened the shows of Les Luthiers narrating important elements such as the name of the composer, his story or peculiarities about the characters. This preview became an important axis of most of the presentations, the style of Mundstock notably captured the attention of the public, being a relevant part of the success of Les Luthiers. Despite being the "least musical" of the group, according to the official description of the ensemble and the Argentine newspaper La Nación, he dared to play in many of the shows, especially when it came to one of the peculiar instruments used by them.

We chose some important moments from Marcos Mundstock's performances with Les Luthiers where he integrates his different facets as narrator, actor, singer and even musician.

Johann Sebastian Mastropiero

One of the characters created by Les Luthiers is the composer Johann Sebastian Mastropiero based on ideas from Marcos Mundstock. The life of this composer is fascinating, the different fictional works that the ensemble performs, always carry a curious explanation of his life in the voice of Mundstock himself. In "Forgive Her" Les Luthiers present a bolero composed by Mastropiero, who blatantly plagiarized it from the work of another fictional composer: Gunter Frager.

Princess of Asturias Awards

In 2017 Les Luthiers were awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, the president of the jury Víctor García de la Concha highlighted that the ensemble “is one of the main communicators of Ibero-American culture from artistic creation and humor” and "A critical mirror and a benchmark of freedom in contemporary society" , according to information collected by the newspaper El País. At the award ceremony, Mundstock, with his characteristic style, was in charge of giving the assembly's speech reflecting on humor, its importance in society and the curious fact that a humorous group received an award in this category.

Also read: Beyond the 9th symphony: 5 Beethoven plays you should know

Who Killed Tom McCoffee?

Marcos Mundstock's serious face was possibly his greatest hallmark, which, together with his deep voice, gave him a touch of solemnity that curiously worked perfectly for him in comedy. His role was as a narrator who seriously told funny stories without losing his poker face, so that image was perfect in Who Killed Tom McCoffee? a noir story. 

The poet and the echo

Although music was the driving force behind each show, there were some where its presence was less. Such is the case of The Poet and the Echo, a show presented on their twentieth anniversary where Marcos Mundstock and Daniel Rabinovich carry a good part of the scenes, and it is precisely these two artists who are no longer present in the ensemble.

Recited Gauchesco

The "informal instruments" are instruments created by Les Luthiers ( luthier is the word for instrument builders), throughout their career they have presented 46 of them, according to information on their page. Marcos Mundstock considered that he was not good for music, for that reason he was rarely seen playing one. In Gaucho recitation Mundstock uses an ensemble creation: the "natural Gom-Horn", a wind instrument created from a hose.


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