Freestyle playlist: Tango!

Cover to "La viruta"My birthday a week or two ago and so this past Saturday Frances took me to New York for a delayed birthday dinner & a concert.  We went to see the Tango Fire Company of Buenos Aires in their show “Tango Inferno”.  It was great; we had never been to a tango show before but really enjoyed it.  Before the show, they invited audience members to come up on stage and dance.  Neither Frances nor I are dancers, but it was really lovely to watch people having fun dancing around the set, some with members of the dance company.

It was live music:  piano, violin, bandoneón, and bass.  Lots of Astor Piazzolla, etc.  I found my attention moving from the dancers to the musicians and especially the pianist, thinking “I’d love to play some of that!”   I particularly loved the liberal use of glissandi up and down the keyboard for dramatic flourishes.   The only tango I have music for is Stravinsky’s, but frankly this is one of those pieces that I try really hard to like and to enjoy playing, but just can’t seem to make it work.   But I figured that there had to be some sheet music out there, so after sleeping in on Sunday (it was a late night) I cruised the internet looking for tangos.  Sure enough, I found some old sheet music that had been scanned and posted online as a PDF.  Rather than print the 126 pages, I loaded the file onto an iPad that I have from work and viewed it in the Stanza e-book reader.  The music was readable, if a little on the cramped side, and so Sunday was spent reading tangos of all sorts.  Neither of the cats started dancing around the house, however.

This was another echo of that earlier time when being interested in a piece of music meant getting the sheet music and playing it yourself at the family piano.  I could have gone online to buy some tango tracks for my MP3 player (and I may yet do so), but this was way more fun and, like the show itself, had an air of the vintage about it.  I felt a little like Bertie Wooster in his New York flat, playing the latest goofy show tune he heard on Broadway the night before.  Now I just have to work on my glissandi …

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