The Tango Amargo

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us and Musical Mixology is back with a brand new recipe to meet all your (anti-)Valentine’s needs. The Tango Amargo is a rich, complex, and blissfully bitter drink concocted especially for all the sexy singles, cynics, and contrarians out there. It also pairs perfectly with the music of Astor Piazzolla and our seductive new music video featuring our arrangement of his Oblivion.

We spent many evenings searching for just the right cocktail to complement the dark, sexy undercurrents of Piazzolla’s endlessly passionate music. His tangos conjure up a complex mix of emotions and we wanted a recipe that captured all the contradictions of yearning. We also sought to incorporate Italian and Argentinian liquors in homage to Piazzolla’s roots. The chamomile, bitter orange, and myrrh-infused Fernet Branca (an Argentinian staple) came instantly to mind, but also presented a challenge given its bold flavors. Cue the voluptuous red hue and sapid bitterness of Campari! To that we added artichoke-based Cynar, an herbal gin, and the elegant Dolin Blanc Vermouth for balance. The Tango Amargo begins sweet, then turns dark and bitter; it’s the perfect cocktail for your anti-Valentine’s Day fete this Singles Awareness Day (Isn’t that… S.A.D. for short? 😜).

(For those who can stomach this happy holiday "straight up,” our sweet and bubbly Elixir of Love is the quintessential Valentine’s Day cocktail. Lovebirds and spurned lovers alike will also adore a batch of The Rachmaninoff Heartbreak.)


Based on “Eeyore’s Requiem” by Toby Maloney of Chicago’s Violet Hour

Yield: 1 cocktail


  • 1.5 oz Campari

  • 0.5 oz gin

  • 0.25 Cynar

  • 0.25 Fernet Branca

  • 1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth

  • 15 drops or 0.2 oz orange bitters


Stir with ice until well chilled, then strain into a serving glass (coupe or cocktail glass). Drink yourself into Oblivion.

"Two is Company" - A&R featured in Clavier Companion!

We're on the cover of this month's "Clavier Companion." The corresponding article is spot-on: Nick Romeo (the author) actually "gets" us, our mission, and our artistic pursuits, and he swirls it all together into a mighty read! Kudos to Nick!

We need batteries, duct tape, and a flashlight,” said Greg Anderson, a doctoral candidate in the piano department at Yale University. Greg and I were walking to a thrift store in downtown New Haven with Elizabeth Joy Roe, Greg’s friend and partner in the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo. “Are we going to be destroying anything in slow motion?” Liz asked, in a serious voice. “We can bring that lamp I don’t want,” Greg said. Arriving at the New Haven Salvation Army, they fanned out and searched the aisles for flared jeans, bell bottoms, tapered shirts with pointed collars, anything reminiscent of the 1970s. Greg found a marigold shirt with a brown floral pattern and a pointed collar that fit him perfectly. He made for the register. “I haven’t seen one of these in a long time,” the cashier said as he counted out change.

In a few hours, Greg and Liz were shooting footage for a music video of their two-piano paraphrase of the Bee Gees song Stayin’ Alive.

... Greg and Liz take an iconoclastic pleasure in smashing through the stereotype of classical music as a tame and harmless anachronism. They want audiences to have powerful, visceral reactions to their music. After hearing their exuberantly virtuosic take on Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz at a concert in Oregon, one woman in the audience leapt to her feet and shouted “Now that’s a waltz!”

Read the entire article here.

Alun's peculiar question...

Dear Greg and Liz,
I was just sent your wondrously passionate Libertango from someone I want to love but has a long-distance (American) lover. I'm assuming she (a Koren) and I (a Canadian) will become special friends. But as the 'other' man, I want to seek those remote possibilites. I've just spent an hour trying to decifer every important word by the 'narrator' but missing the complete. Would you kindly send me the proper wordage. I can, at least, give it (plus your CD) to her as a friend's Christmas present. Please hurry, if you can, 'cause time is running out on a move to win her over.
- Alun Josef Seguin

Dear Alun,

Thanks so much for your interesting question!

Here is the wording of the "Libertango" video. Contrary to what one might expect, the script is not from an actual textbook or lecture; this brainy yet fictitious jargon was written exclusively for this video by a friend who has a science degree! It is simply a pseudo-scientific soliloquy filled with double entendres:

"...the force between two oppositely charged masses depends on the magnitude and distribution of charge in each body and the distance between them. The force is inversely proportioned to the square of the distance between the two bodies, resulting in moderate attraction when removed from one another but exponentially greater attraction when in close proximity...."


"....towards one another and collide in a cycle whose duration depends on the elasticity of the collision. The bodies ultimately will come to rest together with the initial potential energy of their electrostatic attraction having been dissipated through the kinetic energy of their collision."

Enjoy and good luck with all your endeavors! ;)

Cheers and Happy New Year!

an innate necessity

We receive a hefty number of wonderful emails, both positive and negative, and we thank everyone who takes the time to share their thoughts with us.

I admit, however, to taking offense when our artistic integrity is called into question. Our websites and videos have never been about show-biz, nor are they simply about virtuosity. They were not created as gimmicks or to be clever.

They were born out of an innate necessity.

Our websites, videos, performances, and compositions are an outcome of the spirit and joy inherent in music-making. They are the result of our desire to create real and authentic links with our audiences.

Our videos are not intended to be clever or “rock-style;” they are designed to enhance the meaning of the music performed. The "Pas de deux" video, for example, aims to intensify the intimacy and nostalgia already inherent in the music. Similarly, our video of the New Account of the Blue Danube Waltzes intends to visually dramatize what the music already conveys: as we wrote in our album’s liner notes, “our kaleidoscopic Blue Danube Fantasy takes the elegance of the Viennese waltz as a point of departure and plunges headlong into the passions that undulate beneath the dance's restrained facade.” We created the "Reimagine" trailers to represent, in a few short minutes, the impact and drama of the entire album and to encourage viewers to invest in the full production, just as a movie trailer intends to do.

Our compositions and arrangements are not pianistically challenging merely for the sake of virtuosity. For example, we wrote the hand crossings into our Libertango arrangement to visually communicate an element of danger: the racing heartbeats, the physical friction, and the charged chemistry between a pair of tango dancers. Many of our compositions and arrangements for four-hands are designed to withstand the demands of a 2000-seat concert hall, unlike so many works from the four-hand repertoire more suited for a living room; this also changes the way we approach the compositional process.

We do not select repertoire to be sensational; we select music that speaks to us, music that we love, and music that makes a statement. When asked to replace John Williams as composers for a Juilliard centennial concert, we chose to use the iconic Star Wars music as our source material for a very simple reason: we love the music. We really do. And we found great joy in making this music our own.

Our presence on the Internet is not simply about self-promotion; we maintain a strong presence on the Internet because we feel it is an effective way to share and discuss music with people, especially young people. It is an exceptional tool with the power to galvanize new classical music listeners. The questions and answers on our website, and the polling booth for that matter, are designed to give us an opportunity to communicate directly with our audiences (we hope to relate to our audiences as real people and not some aloof automatons on stage).

Everything we do is a result of our mission:

To connect with others; to engage, provoke, illuminate; to serve as a conduit for the composer’s voice; to authentically express our inner lives; to share the joy and fulfillment that only music can elicit. …to free the world from the constraints of sleep-inducing concerts. …to demonstrate that classical piano music can serve as a relevant and powerful force in society.

All that we do as musicians is geared toward these goals, is inspired by these goals, and is fueled by these goals.

If we were doing it all for gimmickry or attention, we wouldn’t have accomplished nearly as much (in fact, we’d be downright bored), and we’re confident it wouldn’t be nearly as good.