From the Southwest Florida Symphony.
Until circumstances allow us to meet again, please enjoy these wonderful links and sites full of amazing orchestral music and activities!
The moment at which music reveals its true nature is contained in the ancient exercise of the theme with variations. The complete mystery of music is explained right there. Pierre Schaeffer
Explore and enjoy the creativeness of the theme & variation format. Click on the link to enjoy:
- Beethoven- Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’Mvt. 4 Finale
Originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte (above) and then scratched out, this symphony is considered the transition from the Classical to the Romantic period. It was eventually published as the “Heroic Symphony, Composed to celebrate the memory of a great man.” Musical perfection, plus a fun digital graphic video demonstrating the intricacies of the composition. Watch and listen with your kids!
- Vieuxtemps- Souvenir d’Amérique
Technically an encore and not a symphonic piece, but technically a perfect and energetic performance of these demanding Yankee Doodle variations! Svetlin Roussev, violin.
- Dohnányi- Variations On A Nursery Tune
Subtitled “For the enjoyment of humorous people and for the annoyance of others!”A very familiar melody follows a misleadingly dramatic introduction. Such enthrallingly lavish treatment of everyone’s very first musical memory!
- Brahms- Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Research now questions the theme, St. Anthony Chorale, as actually being Haydn’s work. Regardless of its unknown source, this piece is always a favorite.
- Vaughn Williams- Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
If you only listen to one suggestion, choose this one, one of my favorites and also a favorite of many who commented on the link! This rich sound comes from dividing the string orchestra into three separate ensembles to mimic the”swell” stop setting of an organ. Two composers, 400 years apart, magical.
- Ives- Variations on ‘America’ (Schuman)
Ives occasionally displays his cheeky and startling use of bitonality(using two different keys at once) in this piece originally written for organ for his church’s July 4th, 1892 celebration. He was seventeen!
- Walton- Variations on a Theme by Hindemith
There is no indication that Hindemith heard this captivating and accessible piece, written in 1963, the same year his good friend died. Chances are, you have never heard it either, but you can and should, here and now! Wonderful b&w geometric photos accompany this version, Ayn Rand style.
- Rachmaninoff- Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Written as a single-movement concerto for piano, Rachmaninoff grabbed the melody from superstar Paganini’s notoriously tricky 24th Caprice for solo violin.Listen for the Dies Irae woven in, and also the clever and much- beloved version of the melody in the slow 18th variation.Anna Fedorova, piano
Take the time to enjoy these great reminders of all we love and miss hearing, until we can meet again safelyatSouthwest Florida Symphony live concerts!
Enjoying these with your students or children?