New Tango in an Old Row
for clarinet, bassoon, two violins, two celli, and double bass
New Tango in an Old Row is an imaginary posthumous collaboration between two very different composers: Astor Piazzolla (the father of the modern tango) and Arnold Schoenberg (the father of serialism). Specifically, it is a tango nuevo in the style of Piazzolla, with melodic material derived from Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique. (The twelve-tone row is, in fact, stolen—hook, line, and sinker—from Schoenberg’s Variations for Orchestra.) In the end, it is both a rigid approach to dance music and a playful approach to serialism, the hope being that it will appeal to, or frustrate, everybody involved.