Variations on a Dirge

Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
15 minutes
Modern classical music
Solo instrument (Piano)
Instrumental parts
Not available

Commentary by Left Brain and Right Brain. LB: "Variations I - III are simple, and seize upon facets of the Dirge. Variation IV changes the tempo, and Variation V changes to a major key. Variations VI and VII are peaceful, and Variation VIII is a Romance which is the heart of the work. After the Dirge is restated, the Finale waltz dispels the gloom." RB: "In Variation VI: �tude Diabolique, I love the syncopations and the rapid arpeggios to the top of the keyboard. Variation V: Scherzo Macabre is in a miniature monothematic sonata form, but what grab me are the jazzy rhythms in 12/8, the starts and stops, and the leaps as the left hand crosses the right to put in its 2 cents. Those ringing 5-note chords for each hand are fun too." LB: "Variation VIII: Romance is also in miniature sonata form. The theme is an inversion of the Dirge, and now it's romantic and lyrical. The development re-inverts this inversion. The coda inverts and re-harmonizes the last 2 bars of the Dirge, to bring this variation to a tender close." RB: "In Variation VI: Intermezzo, the senza espressione comment was your idea. Your head really does rule your heart." LB: "And your heart rules your head, so we complement each other."

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