Friday, January 17, 2014

Montage # 139 – Theme and Variations: The Songbook Edition

As of February 14, 2014, this montage will no longer be available on Pod-O-Matic. It can be heard or downloaded from the Internet Archive at the following address:

Today's installment of our series on Themes and Variations looks at such works that find their initial theme in song - be it nursery rhymes, folk or popular songs.

With the exception of our first selection - Mozart's variations on the French nursery rhyme the English-speaking world knows as "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" - I provide a version of the original song.

The Carnival of Venice  is a folk tune popularly associated with the words "My hat, it has three corners". A popular theme for variations by many composers, a series of theme and variations has been written for solo trumpet most notably by Jean-Baptiste Arban, Del Staigers and Herbert L. Clarke , as "show off" pieces that contain virtuoso displays of double and triple tonguing, and fast tempos.

Chopin's "Souvenir de Paganini", dedicated to the composer and violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, is another variation on this theme; it evokes the variations Paganini himself wrote for his own use, performed in our monrage by a solo clarinetist.

The Hungarian folk song "Flight of the Peacock" was set for chorus and orchestra, and later featured  in a series of elaborate variations for orchestra by Zoltan Kodaly.

As an inventive way of generating some revenue while he composed his opera Porgy and Bess, George Gershwin went on tour performing a set of variations for piano and orchestra based on his (still popular) showtune "I Got Rhythm".

I think you will love this music too!

A compter du 1et janvier 2014, nos interventions en français (y compris le commentaire associé à cette baladodiffusion) sont exclusivement disponibles sur notre portail L'Idée Fixe.


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