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Tangata Manu (2009) for piano, percussion and string quintet

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By Thomas Oboe Lee

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Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, percussion - Advanced Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by Thomas Oboe Lee. 21st Century, 20th Century, Romantic Period, Jazz, Latin. Score. 27 pages. Published by Thomas Oboe Lee (S0.10627).

Item Number: S0.10627

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, piano and percussion.Maestro David Feltner, music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Boston, told me he wanted to include the string orchestra version of my Morango … Almost A Tango in his 2009-10 season. I said, “That‘s wonderful.” He also wondered if I would write another tango, a new one for strings and piano, I said, “Why not? Tangos are my bread and butter.” As I was finishing the work I asked David if I could have a percussionist. He said to go ahead. To begin, the title of this work, Tangata Manu, is a bit misleading. But let me start from the beginning. I have quite a few recordings of Astor Piazzola’s music in my enormous CD collection. Piazzolla has a way of creating titles for his compositions by combining words to make up new ones. For example, in the CD “Astor Piazzolla y su Quinteto Tango Nuevo: Tristezas de un Doble A,” he has titles like “Tanguedia,” “Biyuya,” “Lunfardo, “Tangata,” etc. I guess “Tanguedia” combines the words Tango and Tragedia. Or maybe he had Comedia in mind instead? I liked the title “Tangata,” which I assume combines the words Tango with Sonata. Two musical forms I am quite familiar with …Out of curiosity, I looked up the word Tangata on Google search. Tangata manu showed up. Here is the Wikipedia entry on the name:The Tangata manu (bird-man), is the winner of a traditional competition on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The ritual is an annual competition to collect the first Sooty Tern (manu tara) egg of the season from the islet of Motu Nui, swim back to Rapa Nui and climb the sea cliff of Rano Kau to the clifftop village of Orongo.Fantastic, isn’t it? An Easter egg hunt on Easter Island! Imagine that!!!Now back to the misleading part of the title: my work has nothing whatsoever to do with Easter Island, or the bird-man. It is a work that incorporates Latin music styles with bits of salsa, a samba groove, perhaps something approaching Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras, maybe even a bolero and, of course, the tango. Enjoy!!! And feel free to get up and dance in the aisles.

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