Redline Tango (2004)
Commissioned by Emory University, Lamar University, Arizona State University, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Illinois State University, University of Kansas, and Mercer University. Consortium organized by Scott A. Stewart of Emory University and Scott Weiss of Lamar University.
Premiered February 26, 2004, Emory University Wind Ensemble, Scott Stewart, conductor.
Winner of the 2005 ABA / Ostwald Award.
Winner of the 2004 Walter Beeler Memorial Composition Prize.
This work is on the Texas UIL Prescribed Music List, classified as Grade 5.
"Redline Tango" takes its title from two sources. The first is the common term of "redlining an engine," or, pushing it to the limit. In the case of this score, "redline" also refers to the "red line," or the IRT subway line (2 & 3 trains) of the New York subway system, which is the train that goes between my apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and BAM, where this work was premiered.
The work is in three sections. The first section is the initial virtuosic "redlining" section, with constantly-driving 16th-notes and a gradual increase in intensity. After the peak comes the second section, the "tango," which is rather light but demented, and even a bit sleazy. The material for the tango is derived directly from the first section of the work. A transition leads us back to an even "redder" version of the first section, with one final pop at the end.
Originally commissioned by the Brooklyn Philharmonic, this is the re-worked, or "windestrated" version. The original version can be found here.