Virginia Knight wrote:
>A work that always makes me wince: the suite from _Les Sylphides_,
>which is orchestrations of Chopin by (according to the page I looked at)
>Alexandre Glazunov, Igor Stravinsky, Anatole Liadov, Nicolas Sokolov and
>Sergei Taneyev. I don't know if this has a life in the concert hall
>apart from its use as a ballet score.
Thanks, that was one I had forgotten.
>One could add other things like Britten's _Young Person's Guide to the
>Orchestra_ which is based on a theme by Purcell. There's a distinction
>to be made (with a fuzzy area in the middle) between a composer's own
>variations on/exploration of a theme by another, and a more straightforward
>arrangement/re-orchestration/transcription of someone else's piece.
It is difficult for me to make a distinction. For example, the Foss
Baroque Variations...as far as I recall, he doesn't really change the
notes, hence, they weren't exactly variations...yet one can find some
of the "arrangement" done by Berio...or a work like Ludwig van by Kagel.
The Kagel work is a collage of themes written by Beethoven. As far as
I know Kagel did not change any notes.
Variations are usually easier to classify as such, but then there are
the Paganini Variations by Lutoslawski. The 24th Caprice of Paganini
(thematic source) is, as I recall, a set a variations itself. My
recollection was that Lutoslawski took each of Paganini's variations
and did a variation on them, so in a sense it is almost a bit of
transcription and variation.
I started the list because I loved works like the Warlock which took older
themes and "enriched" the harmony...but then, the list has taken on a
different function...defining what it is that I am looking for.
In short, I am looking to open it up, but don't want to open the door to
works that are clearly Variations...why? I am not sure...perhaps because I
see it would have the potential to make for a VERY long list.