Tango Neurotica

Publisher: Recital Music
Product Code: RMD1469
Composed by: Robert Moran
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Tango Neurotica is Robert Moran’s third work for double bass and is a monumental and imposing work offering musical and technical challenges for each player.
Composed in 2010, it is based on music from the composer’s ballet ‘ALICE’, inspired by ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Charles Dodgson, which was performed by Scottish Ballet on a 21 performance tour to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Cardiff and Aberdeen in 2011.
It explores a wealth of contemporary colours and timbres throughout the range of the double bass, with a range of differing moods and atmospheric episodes which maintain interest throughout. It has a strong rhythmic drive, with effective tutti interjections, ending with an evocative coda which is played pizzicato by all basses, gradually dying away and bringing the piece to a quiet but successful conclusion. Robert Moran writes ‘My new ballet ALICE is dance and no words… and ALICE is all about words and more words, useless since Alice never makes any real contact with the characters she comes across. She talks; they talk, then tell her (typical adult to a kid), ‘You’re stupid, you just don’t know anything.’
Here is a tango, as was suggested by Ashley Page, choreographer. The Caterpillar, minus his mushroom, takes puff after puff on his hookah while teaching Alice the steps. He is neurotic and temperamental. She is confused and annoyed. At times the tango is interrupted by his ‘fits and rages’ directed at her. However, he ‘pulls himself back together’ and continues the dance lesson as if nothing had happened!
There is one shocking moment when the Tango Teacher goes ‘totally off the track’, has hallucinations, is frozen and unable to continue (clearly he needs new medications!)… returns to his ‘reality’ and continues the tango, which becomes very aggressive and rather violent. It’s at that moment that Alice plans her ‘quite departure’ and escapes.’

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