Diferencas was an old Spanish naming of musical compositions dealing with various techniques involving theme and variation. In modern Spanish it simply means differences. It’s a nice title, however, and as to the present piece, a very fitting one indeed, because I wrote it especially to The Elsinore Players for their South America-tour in 1981.
Actually nothing happens to the clipping of wellknown Bach (the first four bars of the chorale: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, cantata No. 147), apart from the continuous changing of the succession-pattern of the 11 triplets and one duplet, the latter of which creates the recognizable 8/8 pattern amidst the flow of 9/8 "spinnrad-rolling". To put it popularly, I haven’t included anything that Bach does not have in the book himself.
In addition to that, the unpredictable accents and various instrumental colours are the only means of "differences". There are no modulations, no tricky polyphony, nothing but a long, thoughtful tasting the beautiful piece of tune. Well, of course, the chorale itself enters the picture in the very last section, but that is merely for me to have the pleasure of tossing it away again before it comes to a proper end.
Finally, I really do think, that the Cage/Morgan poem quoted below, is the most suitable prologue to Diferencias:
14 variations on 14 words
I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry.
- John Cage
I have to say poetry and is that nothing and I am saying it
I am and I have poetry to say and is that nothing saying it
I am nothing and I have poetry to say and that is saying it
I that am saying poetry have nothing and it is I and to say
And I say that I am to have poetry and saying it is nothing
I am poetry and nothing and saying it is to say that I have
To have nothing is poetry and I am saying that and I say it
Poetry is saying I have nothing and I am to say that and it
Saying nothing I am poetry and I have to say that and it is
It is and I am and I have poetry saying say that to nothing
It is saying poetry to nothing and I say I have and am that
Poetry is saying I have it and I am nothing and to say that
And that nothing is poetry I am saying and I have to say it
Saying poetry is nothing and to that I say I am and have it
- Edwin Morgan
- Poul Ruders