I forgot to mention another species, a form of pastiche, music made up
solely of multiple snippets of other composers. The two best I know in
this genre are Patric Standford's Fifth symphony and the great "Guess
who?" party piece, "Pastiche," by John Biggs.
The latter work, available on an old MMC release, is a pseudo overture
based on 29 works of 21 composers lasting 11 minutes. I've played it
for the N.California Wagner Society and a party I threw for www.sfcv.org
music critics. The quotes run by so fast and furious that even the most
knowledgeable listeners (MCML-ers excepted) can't identify more than 15
composers at first hearing.
When you get to variations, you can go on forever. Better to list the
variations based solely on an original theme rather than someone else's.
I would hazard a guess that the Enigma variations are the most famous
in this opposite-of-topic category.
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