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12 Variations
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Twelve Variations for piano duet (1997)

(‘Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung’)

The piece takes as its subtitle the expression marking from the second movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in E Major, Opus 109: “Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung”. Literally, ‘songful with inner feeling’. The subtitle suggests an internalised depth and calmness of expression as well as the presence of an inner line in the musical texture. The idea in 12 Variations is the gradual expansion of the music from a spacious, gentle melody to richer and more textured worlds drawing on an ambiguity of structure where the discontinuity of variation form is offset by a larger dramatic shape. 12 Variations for piano duet was composed in 1997 in response to an Australia Council for the Arts commission by Stephen Emmerson and Bernard Lanskey.

 

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