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The Raymond Variations for Piano (Set 1)

By S. G. Potts

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Piano Solo - Advanced - Digital Download
Composed by S. G. Potts. 21st Century, Romantic Period, Contemporary Classical, Neo-Classical, Recital. Sheet Music Single. 18 pages. Published by S. G. Pottingsley (S0.354809).

Item Number: S0.354809

The Raymond Variations for Piano (Set 1),  received its world premiere on 2nd December 2015 at the 1901 Arts Club London,  performed by Lorraine Womack-Banning as part of a memorial tribute concert to  her late husband Raymond Banning (former professor of pianoforte at Trinity  College London).

The Variations  are based on the three Andantino themes which form a central part of the ‘Raymond  Overture’ written in 1851 by French composer Ambroise Thomas: 1811-1896. There are nine piano variations in total; these include a  mix of both full and short partial variations (including a very short  declamatory two chord introductory variation). The variations are not numbered  or set-apart in a conventional manner, rather they form part of a continuous  whole, and are separated only by bridge passages and/or cadence points; they last  a little under eight minutes in duration, and strongly exploit the passionate  elements of Thomas’s themes. They have been written for the most part in an  accessible tonal style (with a passing nod to Messrs. Beethoven and J.S. Bach) and  are based predominately in the home key of D minor, but they do also take  advantage of many 20th and 21st century harmonic techniques where deemed appropriate:e.g. added note chords; cluster chords; percussive chords, and melodic  deflection. In particular, the interval of the major 7th and its enharmonic  equivalent(s) (the most distinctive interval in the main andantino theme from  the overture) is heard in various different guises throughout the variations:  this includes its inversion the minor 2nd which has a very distinctive sharp  dissonant quality. Much play is made of these intervals – to somewhat humorous  effect in variation 8 (the joker in the pack) heard some three quarters into  the set, here the dissonant interval is pounded out double forte before hastily  leading into some boisterous cluster harmonic instability; then quietly begins  variation 9 which duly brings the set to a close. Look out for the sting in the tail!

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