Igor Stravinsky

Tango, for piano

    Description by Andrew Lindemann Malone

    Soon after Stravinsky fled Europe in the 1930s and settled in sunny Hollywood, he found himself struggling for money. The royalties which had provided him a steady income in France were not forthcoming in America due to legal ambiguities, and, with his limited command of English, he was unable to find a teaching position. Faced with uncertain finances, Stravinsky wrote a number of works with the explicit intention of making a decent sum.

    The Tango (1940) is one such example. In this work, Stravinsky seems to view the atmosphere of a tango as its essence; he virtually ignores the tango's distinctive rhythm, substituting near-constant syncopation in 4/4 time. After a terse, dark introduction, a succession of melodies tinged with blue notes and sighing cadences blossoms forth. A rumbling, dense counterpoint passage seems drawn downward; a major-mode trio section does nothing to dispel the world-weary mood. The opening melodies return, followed by a repetition of the introduction, which closes the piece. The Tango is slight but charming, and its commercial appeal is at once obvious. Seeking maximum return for his efforts, Stravinsky intended to transcribe the Tango, originally written for piano, for several different ensembles, including jazz band. Ultimately, he prepared three arrangements: two for chamber orchestra, and one for violin and piano.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Gramola GRAM 99099
    2016 Zefir Records ZEF 9647
    2015 Sony Classical 88875026162
    2015 DG Deutsche Grammophon B002398272
    2015 Tacet TACET 216CD
    2014 Odradek ODRCD 311
    2014 Steinway & Sons 30028
    2013 Steinway & Sons 30016
    2013 Preiser Records PR 90825
    2013 Challenge Classics CC 72599
    2013 Piano Classics PCL 0053
    2012 Decca 4764832
    2012 Channel Classics CCSSA 32112
    2012 Ars Musici 233055
    2011 KML Recordings 1126
    2011 BIS 1804
    2011 Newton Classics 8802062
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099968582
    2010 Avi-Music / CAvi-music 8553174
    2010 Hyperion 67723
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Ravello 7808
    2010 Orchid Classics 100003
    2009 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099926475
    2008 Bel Air Music BAM 2043
    2008 Chandos 10493
    2008 Naxos 8558186/7
    2008 Naxos 8570377
    2008 EMI Classics 385265
    2008 Gega New 327
    2008 Ars Produktion 38444
    2008 Arbiter 155
    2007 Camerata Records 28105
    2007 KML Recordings 1112
    2007 Apex
    2006 Oehms 534
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 86073
    2004 BIS 5011
    2004 Classical Accordion CD lips3
    2004 Bridge 9154
    2003 Eroica Distribution 3138
    2003 Motette 13011
    2002 Arion 68062
    2000 Romeo Entertainment 7202
    2000 Telarc Distribution 80549
    2000 Naxos 553871
    1999 Bonneville Worldwide Ent. (BWE) 9501
    1998 CBC Records 1116
    1998 Omega Music Poland 3030
    1997 EMI Music Distribution 5697052
    1997 Calliope 9228
    1997 Nimbus 5519
    1996 Rene Gailly 87079
    1996 Koch International Classics 7211
    1996 Denon Records 78841
    1995 Centaur Records 2188
    1994 Bridge 9051
    1993 Sony Classical 48381
    1993 Thorofon 2184
    1992 Koch Schwann 311522
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 67276
    Collins Records 13742
    Ades 20292
    Buda Musique 92630
    Disques Montaigne 8941
    Saga Classics 3391
    Solstice Records 84
    Koch 7438
    Bvhaast / Bvhaast 0702
    Hangar 21
    Thesis 82018