1. A Tortoise´s Tango (1984)– dur.: 4´
2. Light of a Night – Paul with bird (1989)- dur.: 6´
3. Hermit Crab Tango – Esperanza (1997)- dur.: 5´

The pieces can be performed together or one by one.
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Work Information

Per Nørgård : A Tortoise Tango


Work Notes A Tortoise´s Tango is part of Nørgård´s "Animals in Concert", a suite of piano pieces, so far comprised of:

1. A Tortoise´s Tango (1984)– dur.: 4´
2. Light of a Night – Paul with bird (1989)- dur.: 6´
3. Hermit Crab Tango – Esperanza (1997)- dur.: 5´

The pieces can be performed together or one by one.
Publisher
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Category Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
1984
Duration 4 Minutes

Programme Note

A TORTOISE´S TANGO (1984) for piano.
A Tortoise´s Tango(1984), ´Light of a Night - Paul with bird (1989) and ´Esperanza - Hermit Crab Tango´(1997) are (the first) three movements of a suite ´Animals in Concert´ for piano.
1. A Tortoise´s Tango – Skildpadde-tango (1984) – dur.: 4´
2. Light of a Night – Paul meets bird (1989) - dur.: 6´
3. Hermit Crab Tango, Esperanza (1997) - dur.: 5´
The movements can be performed separately.

The tortoise as tango dancer must presumably possess certain rhythmic peculiarities, which I have chosen to express by letting the tune of the tortoise shuffle broadly, tripartite through the strict four partite time of tango.
Tortoise Tango was the original title of this piece, “written for Achilles” (the pianist Yvar Mikhashoff), for his so called tango project”, including new tangos for piano by composers from all over the world.
Esperanza and Tortoise Tango were later arranged for saxophone quartet (by Jesper Nordin) and for bandoneon and small ensemble (by Niels Rosing-Schow,)
Per Nørgård

Programme notes for "Animals in Concert":

1. A Tortoise´s Tango (1984) – dur.: 4´
2. Light of a Night – Paul meets bird (1989) - dur.: 6´
3. Hermit Crab Tango – Esperanza (1997) - dur.: 5´

The pieces can be performed together or one by one.

In the1980s, quite a few “finds” turned up in Per Nørgård’s music. The material could be, say, a number of song birds’ equilibrist melodic lines, the overtones of the ocean surf, or waltzing themes by the schizophrenic artist Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930). Or again, as heard here, it can be the rhythms and motifs of the tango and a Beatles song (with bird), explored in three independent piano pieces that form the Animals in Concert suite, about which the composer writes:

A Tortoise´s Tango: The tortoise as tango dancer must presumably possess certain rhythmic peculiarities, which I have chosen to express by letting the tune of the tortoise shuffle broadly, tripartite through the strict four partite time of tango.
Tortoise Tango was the original title of this piece, “written for Achilles” (the pianist Yvar Mikhashoff), for his so called tango project”, including new tangos for piano by composers from all over the world.

Light of a Night (Paul meets bird) was commissioned by pianist Aki Takahashi. It is a “reworked” arrangement for piano of the Beatles song Blackbird. As some of us will recall, the Beatles on “The White Album” let the beautiful song to the blackbird be accompanied by an (apparently) live blackbird song. It is this authentic bird-motif world that in Light of a Night weaves itself into the Beatles melody and in turn is gradually infected by it, so that a completely new third entity ensues: a kind of Bird-rock ballad (or maybe it is a Beatle-bird?)

Hermit Crab Tango (Esperanza): The tango relationship must be said to be rather special for the hermit crab, this soft animal that, as we know, has to run the gauntlet of the sea bottom’s many dangers whenever it is time for another change of habitat. I have chosen to express those dangers by a cactus-sharp tango pattern through which
the melody – optimistically – scurries to its new shelter. With her permission I have borrowed the melody from the singer and songwriter Hanne Methling’s Introduction. “I will get through this time!”, she sings in an ecstatic climbing melodic line – and surely these words must correspond to the hermit crab’s mood: Esperanza – hope’s green vines wind their way through the tango rhythm’srigid lattice work.”
Per Nørgård

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