Tango-Prelude II

Manfred Schmitz


Manfred Schmitz (1939-2014)

  1. Manfred Schmitz was born in Erfurt, Germany
  2. He studied at the Fachgrundschule für Musik in Sondershausen
  3. He continued his musical studies at the Musikhochschule “Franz Liszt” in Weimar. He then worked as a piano teacher at various music schools. From 1968 to 1984 he taught at the Weimar Conservatory.
  4. Since 1960 he undertook successful tours with the Manfred Schmitz Jazz Trio and from 1993 to 2004 was deputy music school director at the Joseph Schmidt Music School in Berlin.


Manfred Schmitz was a much respected CONTEMPORARY composer, pianist and educator. His jazz-influenced compositions for children are part of the standard program of numerous music schools far beyond Germany.

His Tango-Prelude II also shows the influence of a popular dance from Argentina in South America – the Tango. The angular rhythms and syncopation in the music are typical of the Tango dance.


  • The structure of this piece is AABAACoda. This might seem a bit complicated at first with all the repeats etc. This diagram might help you to understand it more clearly:
  • The tempo is marked crotchet = c.126 which is quite brisk but a good speed to aim at and capture the spirit of the music effectively. c. means circa which means approximately so it is only a guide for the tempo.
  • Performing this piece requires strong fingers, crisp articulation and tight coordination with your duet partner. Notice all the detail with the accents, staccato and slurs which help you to capture the spirit of the Tango:
  • The repeat could be a shade softer to give a little more contrast. Make a little diminuendo in bar 8:
  • bar 9 is marked forte dolce (loudly and sweetly). A bit of a contradiction but try to let the melody part through more here and play little less heavily with the tone. Also try to shape the phrases for a more musical effect:
  • And end the performance with a final flourish with the upward arpeggio in the Coda:

Share This