op. 80, 2019
Instrumentation: 220.127.116.11. (3. Contrabassoon ad libitum) – 18.104.22.168. (ad libitum), Timpani, 2 Percussion, Organ (ad libitum), Strings
Duration: 3 min.
Commissioned by the Bamberger Symphoniker for the »encore!« project
Publisher: Musikproduktion Höflich München, Repertoire & Opera Explorer, Gourzi Edition
Variation 21 is commissioned by the Bamberger Symphoniker for their »encore!«-project, as an encore after a performance of Elgar’s Enigma Variations.
There is no further direct link to the Enigma Variations, the piece is also versatile and can be performed in other contexts. Variation 21 continues the idea of variation and thematises the leap into the 21st century.
The composition presents its three themes itself and then varies them throughout. The first eight bars are like an overture to the rest of the piece. The two themes appear in direct succession and become increasingly dense and tense rhythmically. A theme in 6/8 time, performed only by percussion, opens a dramaturgical aspect, and the theme in 7/8 time consists of repetitive melodic fragments performed by all the orchestra. These two themes are varied and continually brought together, accompanied by dense changes of meter and instrumental groups. In the middle of the piece, a calm mood is created with the third theme, only to build up again the powerful percussion rhythms. The latter lead Variation 21 to an energetic fortissimo ending.
The piece can be performed also as an overture of a concert.