Repertoire Search

Peter Lieberson

Publisher: AMP

Three Variations for Violoncello and Piano (1996)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Piano + 1 Instrument
Year Composed
5 Minutes
Sale from Rental Library Explain this...
Programme Note
Peter Lieberson Three Variations for Violoncello and Piano (1996)
Composer Note:
I am happy to have been able to contribute to Judy Goldberg’s project to realize a second series of Goldberg Variations in memory of her husband, Robert.

At first, though, I must confess I was stumped. I didn’t want to compose a five minute mock-Baroque piece, but I also didn’t want to completely ignore the contrapuntal style and process of variation that Bach employed. Then I found a twentieth century solution: I took the six note theme of the Goldberg Variations (the descending line in the bass of the opening Aria, G-F#-E-D-C-B) and combined this with the remaining six notes that make up a complete chromatic scale (Bb-Db-Ab-F-A-Eb, in that order).

My piece opens with the combination of these two collections in the solo piano part: Bach’s “theme” in the lower voice and my complement in the upper voice. A series of brief phrases follow which form the material of the variations themselves.

The first variation is called Neighbor Canons, and is in a quick tempo. There are canons within the cello part and the piano part and between them as well. The second variation is a scherzo which is clearly demarcated by a complete change in texture. Finally, the third variation, aria, begins with a cello solo. A short coda follows this variation with a little quote from the Aria of the original Goldberg Variations.

— Peter Lieberson

This item is available digitally from

Close X

Newsletter Signup

Enter your email address to keep up to date with the latest news and special offers from Music Sales Classical.
Your data is secure and you can unsubscribe at any time. Read our Privacy Policy

Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2019 Music Sales Classical. Part of the Music Sales Group.