View Poll Results: Finest theme and variations (choose up to three)

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  • Bach: Goldberg Variations (harpsichord)

    25 62.50%
  • Bach: Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 (organ)

    8 20.00%
  • Bach: Violin Partita #2 mvmt 5 Chaconne

    13 32.50%
  • Beethoven: Piano Sonata #32 Op. 111 mvmt 2 Arietta

    8 20.00%
  • Beethoven: String Quartet #14 Op. 131 mvmt 4 Andante ma non troppo

    5 12.50%
  • Haydn: String Quartet Op. 76 #3 "Emperor" mvmt 2 Poco adagio; cantabile

    7 17.50%
  • Haydn: Symphony #31 "Hornsignal" mvmt 4 Finale: moderato

    2 5.00%
  • Haydn: Variations in F minor (piano)

    2 5.00%
  • Mozart: Piano Concerto #24 mvmt 3 Allegretto

    7 17.50%
  • Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (piano & orch)

    12 30.00%
  • Other(s): Names please!

    13 32.50%
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Thread: Finest theme and variations

  1. #1
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Default Finest theme and variations

    As suggested in another thread, a poll. These include both standalone works and movements from larger compositions. Please vote for up to three, or suggest your alternatives.


  2. #2
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I voted for the Goldbergs and the Chaconne, but added the Diabellis.


  3. #3
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    Bach: Goldberg Variations,
    Beethoven: Piano Sonata #32 Op. 111 mvmt 2 Arietta,
    Haydn: String Quartet Op. 76 #3 "Emperor" mvmt 2 Poco adagio; cantabile
    Mozart: Piano Concerto #24 mvmt 3 Allegretto
    Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

  4. #4
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Just for grins, here's a list of 75 excellent theme and variations:

    Adams: Violin Concerto mvmt 2 Chaconne "Body through which the dream flows"
    Arensky: Variations on a theme of Tchaikovsky (string orch)
    Bach: Art of Fugue (open score)
    Bach: Goldberg Variations (harpsichord)
    Bach: Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 (organ)
    Bach: Violin Partita #2 mvmt 5 Chaconne
    Beethoven: 32 Variations in C minor, WoO 80 (piano)
    Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Op.120 (piano)
    Beethoven: Eroica Variations, Op.35 (piano)
    Beethoven: Piano Sonata #30 Op. 109 mvmt 3 Andante molto cantabile
    Beethoven: Piano Sonata #32 Op.111 mvmt 2 Arietta
    Beethoven: String Quartet #12 Op. 127 mvmt 2 Adagio, ma non troppo
    Beethoven: String Quartet #14 Op. 131 mvmt 4 Andante ma non troppo
    Beethoven: Symphony #3 "Eroica" mvmt 4 Finale: Allegro molto
    Beethoven: Symphony #9 mvmt 3 Adagio molto e cantabile-Andante
    Brahms: Symphony #4 mvmt 4 Allegro energico e passionato
    Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Handel (piano)
    Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a (orch)
    Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35 (piano)
    Britten: "Peter Grimes" Passacaglia (one of the four Sea Interludes)
    Britten: Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge (string orch)
    Britten: Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
    Chopin: Variations on "Là ci darem la mano" (piano)
    Copland: Piano Variations
    d'Indy: Istar (orch)
    Dohnányi: Variations on a Nursery Tune (orch)
    Dukas: Variations, Interlude and Finale on a Theme by Rameau (piano)
    Dvorak: Symphonic Variations (orch)
    Elgar: Enigma Variations (orch)
    Fauré: Thème et variations, op. 73 (piano)
    Franck: Symphonic Variations (piano & orch)
    Haydn: String Quartet Op. 76 #3 "Emperor" mvmt 2 Poco adagio; cantabile
    Haydn: Symphony #31 "Hornsignal" mvmt 4 Finale: moderato
    Haydn: Symphony #45 mvmt 4 Presto-Adagio
    Haydn: Symphony #94 "Surprise" mvmt 2 Andante
    Haydn: Variations in F minor (piano)
    Hindemith: Der Schwanendreher mvmt 3 Var: "Seid ihr nicht der Schwanendreher"
    Hindemith: Nobilissima Visione mvmt 3 Passacaglia
    Holst: Double Concerto mvmt 3 Variations on a Ground: Allegro
    Ives: Variations on "America" (orch. Schuman)
    Kodaly: Peacock Variations (orch)
    Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra mvmt 3 Passacaglia, Toccata e Corale
    Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations (2 pianos, or piano/orch)
    Lutoslawski: Piano Concerto mvmt 4
    Lyapunov: Rhapsody on a Ukrainian Theme (piano & orch)
    Mozart: Piano Concerto #24 mvmt 3 Allegretto
    Nielsen: Symphony #6 "Sinfonia semplice" mvmt 4 Tema con variazioni
    Nielsen: Wind Quintet mvmt 3 Tema con variazioni
    Prokofiev: Piano Concerto #3 mvmt 2 Tema con variazioni
    Prokofiev: Symphony #2 mvmt 2 Theme and variations
    Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (piano & orch)
    Rachmaninoff: Variations on a Theme of Corelli (piano)
    Reger: Variations and Fugue on a Merry Theme of Hiller (orch)
    Reger: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart (orch.)
    Reger: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Bach (piano)
    Rzewski: The People United Will Never be Defeated (piano)
    Saint-Saens: Organ Symphony mvmt 1 (second half)
    Schoenberg: Theme and Variations, Op. 43a (wind band)
    Schoenberg: Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31
    Schubert: Impromptu in B-flat major, D. 935, #3 (piano)
    Schubert: Piano Quintet "Trout" mvmt 4 Andante - Allegretto
    Schubert: Piano Sonata #16 D.845 mvmt 2 Andante poco mosso
    Schumann: Symphonic Etudes in the Form of Variations Op.13
    Shostakovich: String Quartet #10 mvmt 3 Adagio (passacaglia)
    Shostakovich: String Quartet #6 mvmt 3 Lento (chaconne)
    Shostakovich: Violin Concerto #1 mvmt 3 Passacaglia: Andante
    Strauss, R: Don Quixote, Fantastic Variations (cello & orch)
    Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Suite #3 mvmt 4 Tema con variazioni
    Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Suite #4 "Mozartiana" mvmt 4 Thème et variations
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio mvmt 2 Tema Con Variazioni: Andante Con Moto
    Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme (cello & orch)
    Vaughan Williams: Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus (orch)
    Vaughan Williams: Symphony #5 mvmt 4 Passacaglia
    Vaughan Williams: Symphony #8 mvmt 1 Fantasia (Variazioni senza tema)
    Walton: Variations on a Theme by Hindemith (orch)
    Last edited by KenOC; Feb-17-2016 at 07:43.


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  6. #5
    Senior Member DeepR's Avatar
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    Alexander Scriabin - Piano Concerto - Andante

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  8. #6
    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    I voted for the three Bachs. Other favorites of mine include the Rzewski and the passacaglia from Rodrigo's Three Spanish Pieces.

  9. #7
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    The poll's options give the very best of all variations.

  10. #8
    Senior Member Lukecash12's Avatar
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    The Chaconne and Goldberg Variations are in another league, in my mind, when compared to the others in the poll. Funny that I brought this up today, and it blew up into three different threads. Accepts the Oscar: "You do care. You really do care!"
    Last edited by Lukecash12; Feb-17-2016 at 10:13.
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  11. #9
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    I can tell you which is my favorite.

    Which is the finest? I don't know.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

  12. #10
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    Beethoven, Kreutzer sonata, is my favourite. It's so forensic, he almost atomises the music and splinters it and then fragments it, and reassembles it this way and that. It's the most incredible, to my ears...
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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  14. #11
    Senior Member Ilarion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Beethoven, Kreutzer sonata, is my favourite. It's so forensic, he almost atomises the music and splinters it and then fragments it, and reassembles it this way and that. It's the most incredible, to my ears...
    It's so forensic...

    That word, <forensic> leaves me feeling like a cold, dead fish on the Marine Pathologist's dissection table. And then <atomises> Ok, now we're in the sphere of sub-atomic physics. Kieran, you leave me breathless in your descriptive semantics...

    Yes, now I get it - If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with scatological inferences...
    Last edited by Ilarion; Feb-17-2016 at 16:29.
    Something to rock your cradle with:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Su-d6_pBFY

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    Senior Member DiesIraeCX's Avatar
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    My top pick would be the third movement of Beethoven's piano sonata #30, Op. 109.

    III. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung. Andante molto cantabile ed espressivo, E major, 3/4 time
    "No composer has been more innovative than Beethoven, he radically changed the nature and character of the music composed in the two centuries that followed his earliest works" - Charles Rosen ("The Classical Style")

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  17. #13
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    • Glazunov: second movement of Symphony no. VI, plus Theme et Variations for Piano.
    • Erno Dohnanyi: finales of Symphonies I & II plus Nursery Variations.
    • Gliere: third movement of Symphony no. II.
    • Artur Kapp: finale of Symphony no. I.
    • Kodaly: Peacock Variations.
    Last edited by Orfeo; Feb-17-2016 at 16:44.
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  18. #14
    Senior Member Fugue Meister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtMusic View Post
    The poll's options give the very best of all variations.
    Incorrect, the poll excluded the finest variations of all the "Diabelli Variations", which I think is unconscionable.. But I'll let it slide this once.

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  20. #15
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    None of those.

    Beethoven Diabelli Variations....the name I prefer because it's pithy and to the point.

    Otherwise, 33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli by Ludwig von Beethoven!

    The magnificent opus 120!!

    Beethoven showed them all!!

    Great job, Ludwig!!
    Last edited by hpowders; Feb-17-2016 at 18:49.

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