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Variations on an original nursery tune : for cello and piano

by Richard Peter Maddox (1984)

Variations on an original nursery tune, op. 9


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Work Overview

The theme for this piece grew out of the evening rituals of putting children to bed (based on the nursery rhyme "Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man"). It has a gentle, soothing quality conducive to slumber. The variations then take on the different characters of the child's response to being put to bed, working through a somewhat rebellious march, several quieter sections, then the playfulness of Variation V and the follow-the-leader canon (in the piano part) of Variation VI, and finally the Nocturne of Variation VII which leads back to the return of the theme, indicating that sleep has arrived.
The piece is intended as a pastiche, with each variation imitating the style of a different composer. (Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin and Brahms are some of the names that might be invoked here.) This enables the listener to indulge in a sort of guessing game as the piece proceeds.

Work Details

Year: 1984

Instrumentation: Cello, piano.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Medium

First performance: by Susan Langbein, Richard Peter Maddox — 22 Feb 95. Madgwick Hall, University of New England, Armidale, NSW


Performances of this work

22 Feb 95: Madgwick Hall, University of New England, Armidale, NSW. Featuring Susan Langbein, Richard Peter Maddox.

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