Animals In Concert - Three pieces for Piano solo by Per Nørgård.
1. A Tortoise´s Tango (1984) - dur.: 4´
2. Light of a Night - Paul meets bird (1989) - dur.: 6´
3. Hermit Crab Tango - Esperanza (1997) - dur.: 5´
The pieces can be performed together or one by one.
In the1980s, quite a few "finds" turned up in Per Nørgård's music. The material could be, say, a number of song birds' equilibrist melodic lines, the overtones of the ocean surf, or waltzing themes by the schizophrenic artist Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930). Or again, as heard here, it can be the rhythms and motifs of the tango and a Beatles song (with bird), explored in three independent piano pieces that form the Animals in Concert suite, about which the composer writes:
"A Tortoise´s Tango": The tortoise as tango dancer must presumably possess certain rhythmic peculiarities, which I have chosen to express by letting the tune of the tortoise shuffle broadly, tripartite through the strict four partite time of tango.
Tortoise Tango was the original title of this piece, "written for Achilles" (the pianist Yvar Mikhashoff), for his so called tango project", including new tangos for piano by composers from all over the world.
"Light of a Night (Paul meets bird)" was commissioned by pianist Aki Takahashi. It is a "reworked" arrangement for piano of the Beatles song "Blackbird". As some of us will recall, the Beatles on "The White Album" let the beautiful song to the blackbird be accompanied by an (apparently) live blackbird song. It is this authentic bird-motif world that in "Light of a Night" weaves itself into the Beatles melody and in turn is gradually infected by it, so that a completely new third entity ensues: a kind of Bird-rock ballad (or maybe it is a Beatle-bird?).
"Hermit Crab Tango (Esperanza)": The tango situation is quite special for a Hermit Crab. It is a well-known fact that the hermit crab - this soft animal - must run the gauntlet among the many perils at the bottom of the sea when it must move hose. I have chosen to express the angers by a tango pattern - sharp as a cactus - through which the tune, optimistic, slips to its new shelter. I have borrowed the tune from songwriter Hanne Methling´s "Introduction": ´I want to get through this time!' she sings in a ecstatically ascending melody line - and I believe that these words must correspond very well to the mood of the hermit crab: ´Esperanza´- the green runners of hope wind among the latticework formed by the tango rows.