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Tango en azul
"While on a tour in Germany with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, I was asked to do an unusual program featuring Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony preceded by tangos by Kurt Weill, Stravinsky and Piazzolla. In view of the enthusiastic audience reaction, it was proposed that we make a recording of tangos by these and other composers. We proceeded to put together a mixed bag, from Weill’s German and French periods, to Stravinsky's peculiar take on the form, Satie's minimalist 'perpetual' tango, and Gade's flamboyant, popular Tango Jalousie. Piazzolla could not be left out. The resulting recording 'Tango in Blue' is on BIS CD 1175.
My own contributions to the genre were conceived before the recording was planned. 'Tango in Blue' (Tango en Azul) was written during a long overnight flight from New York to Montevideo, as an impromptu gift for the National Orchestra of Uruguay (Orquesta Sinfónica del SODRE), which had invited me to conduct its 75th anniversary concert. The first four notes are a direct quote from the final four notes of my Partita, 'Symphony No.2', one of the few compositions (written soon after my arrival in the United States) that used Latin American rhythms and melodic turns almost as if I was saying that there's where I left off writing 'tonal' music, and I am back. After Montevideo, we played it in Lima and later on in Buenos Aires and many other cities in Latin America on tour with the National Chamber Orchestra of Toulouse. At my publishers' request, I wrote several versions, for violin and piano, trio, string quartet, string orchestra, guitar, voice and piano, etc." (José Serebrier)