2(II=picc).1.corA.2(II=bcl).2-188.8.131.52-timp.perc(2):timbales/marimba/wdbl/2cowbell/brake dr/hi-hat/cymbal/dr set/glsp/crot/3bongo/tam-t/side of dr-harp-strings
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
World premiere complete
Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane
Queensland Symphony Orchestra / Benjamin Northey
The Arts Centre, Hamer Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra / Paul Daniel CBE
When the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra asked me to write a tribute to Astor Piazzolla, Huw Humphreys, their artistic director, encouraged me to simply let myself be ‘inspired’ by Piazzolla, rather than use actual melodies or motives from his works. I completely agreed, as Piazzolla’s melodies are perfect the way they are. I set out on this task by listening to his beautiful pieces and just letting myself be driven by the impressions his music made on me. The process was like an inner dialogue between Piazzolla’s world and my own. My piece uses some of Piazzolla’s unusual harmonic turns, with clear nods to composers that I hear in his music, as diverse as Bach and Legrand. There is of course the obligatory tango element, even though I tend to write substantially simpler rhythms.
As for the major differences, my piece has no Argentinian influence (one can probably identify elements of Russian Tango in this piece) and there is no bandoneón (though I love this instrument and own one).
There are five movements.
1.) Prologue. Slowly unfolding, sliding, brooding chords in the strings with harp arpeggios, followed by a muted trumpet solo.
2.) A fast tango movement quoting my own piece Peggy’s Rag (composed in 1995).
3.) A moderate tempo movement, in quite a dark mood, starting with an almost Baroque style ‘walking bass’.
4.) The start of this movement is in a rather film-noir style. A wistful melody enters, leading to a sudden change of pace (in 5/8 metre), returning later to the introduction material in 4/4.
5) Epilogue: a reflection on all that has gone before, like a journey coming to a quiet, peaceful and slightly sad end.
Elena Kats-Chernin © 2010