Variations for Piano
- 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
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