Variations for Piano

(1997)

Description
piano
Duration
16
Genres
Piano
Commission
Commissioned by Mrs Ursula King, with additional funding from the Arts Council of England
First Performance
12.7.97, Deal Summer Music Festival, Astor Theatre: Ian Fountain
Availability

Score 0-571-51862-1 on sale

Programme Notes

I wrote this work during the early months of 1997. Variations were a common form in the Classical and Romantic periods, and it seemed right to respect the basic premise, that the theme should be simple and the variations clearly related to it. My theme, while short, has three elements: an unaccompanied melody, somewhat folk-like; three chords; and a descending phrase followed by a rising one. Most of the variations contain all three elements, though a few are only concerned with the first of them. The theme is followed by twenty-four variations in two groups. The first group of fifteen variations is mostly fast and ends with three linked variations which form the main climax of the piece. The second group of nine is mostly slow and includes two blues. The final variation is a straightforward harmonization of the theme. The variations are dedicated to Ian Fountain, whose brilliant performance of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations was an inspiration while I was writing my own set and suggested the tribute to Beethoven's Variation 13 in my own Variation 11. Variations for Piano was commissioned by Mrs Ursula King, with additional funding from the Arts Council of England.

© David Matthew

Licensing Information

News & Reviews

'Variations for Piano' review

'There are twenty-four variations on the short original theme, all of which are clearly related to it. Although each variation is obviously contrasted in relation to its neighbours, there is a strong sense of overall design connecting the whole. The first fifteen variations are mainly fast and become progressively more involved technically and harmonically, reaching a climax with the last three which form a linked section. The mood and tempo then suddenly melts beautifully into a slow blues, Read more

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