Five Tangos Op.34

Completed in 2010, the Tangos are included on Lionel’s piano album ‘Sunlight and Storms’ (Navona Records NV5951).


piano solo


c.24 minutes

Year Completed



Sainsbury, a gifted melodist, is drawn sunwards and Southwards in much the same way that many Scandinavian composers were drawn to the Mediterranean. His Five Tangos are affluent in memorable tunes and dense emotion, both suppressed and expressed. The short and quick-pulsed Allegro molto [No.3] is not perhaps a Tango but its character is consonant with its companions. The half-bluesy fogs and mangrove mysteries of the Lento are striking. The final Risoluto trills with nocturnal Hispanic power and is punctuated with trills and florid cells that find quietude at one moment and the next explode with impressive torque and haughty display. Young pianists everywhere should look out for these works as attention-grabbers for competition panels and appreciative audiences alike.

Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International


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