Repertoire Search

Kenneth Leighton

Publisher: Novello & Co

Variations (1955)
Publisher
Novello & Co Ltd
Category
Solo Keyboard(s)
Year Composed
1955
Duration
13 Minutes
Orchestration
Availability
Purchase CD


Buy this work
Worldwide Sales   North American Sales
 
Full Score Full Score

Programme Note
Kenneth Leighton Variations (1955)
Introduzione - Lento misterioso
Canzonetta - Allegro grazioso
Ninna-Nanna - Cullante
Toccata - Allegro molto e ritmico
Notturno - Lento sostenuto
Valzer - Con moto, grazioso ma un poco ironico
Fanfara - Allegro molto
Interludio - Andante, dolce ed innocente
Fuga - Allegro marcato

The Variations were written in the mid 1950's and are in nine interlinked movements on an original theme which incorporates all twelve notes of the scale. The theme, with its predilection for the interval of a fourth (or its inversion, the fifth) and its strong tonal make-up, is enough to cast aside any comparisons with the serial techniques of Schoenberg, Berg or Webern. For throughout we see the composer making his own rules according to his own ideals of lyricism, tonality and colour.

For example, in the opening three bars we hear the twelve note theme stated in its entirety, although divided into two 'characters'. The first 'character' is more accompanimental in nature, a low introductory statement that quickly develops into an ostinato. Over this soars the second half of the theme and the second 'character' - a lyrical haunting melody three octaves higher. The passage lasts only a few seconds but constitutes one of the most beautiful openings in the twentieth century repertoire.

Throughout the work, the theme is treated in these two ways: soloistic and accompanimental. Both are an integral part of the overall structure - many of the accompanying figures use similar ostinatos or chordal progressions while the second 'character' manifests itself in a plethora of cantabile melodies.

Throughout the work, the theme is treated in these two way: soloistic and accompanimental. Both are an integral part of the overall structure - many of the accompanying figures use similar ostinatos or chordal progressions while the second 'character' manifests itself in a plethora of cantabile melodies.

Each movement is an individual mood poem which together stretch the gamut of emotional experience. They follow each other in a slow-fast-slow pattern and culminate in a masterly fugue which itself progresses from the light and delicate to the powerful and triumphant.
© Christopher Ross

  • Soloist(s)
    Wallfisch
    CHANDOS:
  • Soloist(s)
    Angela Brownridge
    Delphian:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 16 SEP 2007
    Hotham Arts Centre, Bognor Regis
    Angela Brownridge, Piano

    Other Dates:
    6 October - Orpheus Club, Ealing, London
    13 October - Hampstead Parish Church, London
    16 October - Elysian Centre, London EC2
    2 November - Oban Cathedral, Oban, Scotland
    6 November - Reid School of Music, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, Scotland
    9 November - Cowdray Hall, Aberdeen, Scotland
    10 November - The Byre Theatre, St. Andrews, Scotland
    14 November - Thwaites Empire Theatre, Bolton
  • 11 FEB 2004
    Steinway Hall, London
    Angela Browning, piano

Close X

Newsletter Signup

Please fill in this form to receive regular news




Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2014 Music Sales Classical. Part of the Music Sales Group.