Theme and Four Variations for Piano
Semplice - The main theme is a simple minor melody in two parts. The theme is slightly sad, but with a hint of optimism. Variation I - Leggero. The right hand sets off a series of runs. The first variation is light and airy. The second part of the variation is played softly and gently, maintaining the light feel, it rises in the final bars in preparation for a change of mood. Variation II - Precipitoso/Sottomesso. This is played impetuously and freely to convey a spirit of liveliness. The second part is delivered in a subdued fashion, growing in volume for the third variation which marks the climax of the piece. Variation III -Molto mosso. The timing changes to 4/4 and this is delivered with furious pace and energy. This is the longest variation and slows slightly to pass smoothly into the final variation and allow the time change back to 6/8. Variation IV - Dolce. This is simple major variant of the main theme, delivered sweetly. It is intended to calm, in sharp contrast to Variation III. It passes back into the minor for the reprise of the original theme and the work is terminated by a simple semiquaver coda.
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