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Introduction, theme and variations : after Beethoven's Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 111

by Anne Cawrse (2004)

Work Overview

It was with much delight and enthusiasm that I accepted The Firm's kind offer to write a piano piece for Leigh Harrold, to be based in some way upon the final Piano Sonata of Beethoven. Delight soon turned to despair as I found myself with a nearing deadline and no inspiration other than, as Beethoven wrote for Piano, so would I!

The resulting work is a collection of six variations, imitating the loose variation style and techniques used by Beethoven in the final movement of his Sonata. The Introduction serves as a virtuosic establishment of key (an unstable C natural minor/Phrygian) and the motivic basis for the theme. As with Beethoven's final sonata, Introduction, Theme and Variations treats formal theme and variation form with a great deal of freedom. By the third variation, the original theme is mostly obscured by trills, fast scale passages and heavy chords. The incessant trills, double dotted rhythms and virtuosic passages correspond to features prevalent in Opus 111 and other late piano works by Beethoven.

Work Details

Year: 2004

Instrumentation: Piano.

Duration: 13 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Leigh Harrold

Commission note: Commissioned for Leigh Harrold.. Commissioned for Leigh Harrold, artist in residence for The Firm Chamber Music series, 2004

First performance: by Leigh Harrold — Oct 04. Pilgrim Uniting Church, Adelaide

Performances of this work

Oct 04: Pilgrim Uniting Church, Adelaide. Featuring Leigh Harrold.

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