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Dance

About the Work

André Previn
Quick Look Composer: André Previn
Program note originally written for the following performance:
Fortas Chamber Music Concert: Augustin Hadelich, Joyce Yang & Pablo Villegas: Tango, Song, and Dance Mon., Apr. 21, 2014, 7:30 PM
© Augustin Hadelich

André Previn wrote Tango Song and Dance for violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. This three-movement work frames tonight's program, with the first movement, Tango, played at the start of the concert; the second, Song, at the beginning of the second half; and the third, Dance, at the end. Tango is full of theatrical flair. In Previn's own words: "At the time, the tango revival craze had not yet been born, and so the first movement with its purposeful and exaggerated tango clichés was still possible. The clustered harmonies are not terribly far removed from the sound the traditional accordion makes, and the whole movement should be full of self-conscious poses." Below the surface, however, there is a troubled and uneasy feeling. Song is poignant and extremely sentimental. The piano accompaniment's textures and harmonies evoke sad piano bar music, over which the violinist sings wistfully. The finale, Dance, is a wild ride. It is here that the jazz influence is felt most strongly. That said, it would be rather hard to dance to since Previn likes to make the bars trip over themselves by leaving out the final eighth note. Much of the piano playing sounds like boogie woogie patterns played on a broken piano-lots of "wrong" and "missed" notes and general mayhem! Above all this, the violin plays jazz riffs intermingled with more percussive, atonal passages. Overall, the mood of the movement is frenzied and jubilant.