Fantasie Variations on Mazurek Dabrowskiego

“Fantasie Variation on Mazurek Dabrowskiego” was commissioned in 2010 by David Wozniak. Wozniak suggested using the Polish National Anthem as the basis of a composition that can serve as a fiery opener to a concert. After a short introduction, the anthem is stated using a repetitive rhythmic motif in the piano. Variation one is a minor variant that has a chromatic obligato in the saxophone on the repeat. After a two measure interlude in 4/4 that breaks up the 3/4 meter of the mazurka, Variation two begins. This variation uses motives from the anthem to create a new saxophone melody. Variation three changes meter often and is more technical and angular. A repeat of the minor variant brings the first fast section to a close. After a transition to a slower tempo, a mysterious variation with sudden outbursts occurs. It uses a lot of feminine endings that are characteristic of some Polish music. The tempo slows once again before variation seven which is a lyrical and romantic treatment of motives from the anthem. The final fast section begins with a rhythmic 5/8 variation that changes to 6/8 for the second part of the anthem’s structure. An ornamental version of the anthem with the mazurka rhythm returns at the end before a rousing coda brings the work to a close. This composition is recorded by David Wozniak and Krista Wallace-Boaz on the Emeritus label American Fusion CD.

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