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Mozart Variations

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James Sochinski

James Sochinski

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General Info

Duration: c. 9:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In honor of [Dennis] Zeisler’s 25 years at ODU [Old Dominion University], the band leaders at 15 schools across the state got together last autumn to commission a piece of music to be composed specifically for Zeisler. The group, headed by Frank Garcia at First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach, chose Dr. James Sochinski, professor of music theory at Virginia Tech, an accomplished composer who is also the arranger for the Virginia Tech marching band.

Sochinski used the second movement of a clarinet quartet by W.A. Mozart -- a piece near and dear to Zeisler’s heart --as his basis and created variations on the main theme.

- Program Note from The Connection

Mozart Variations is a theme and seven variations on the Larghetto theme from the second movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, K.581. Dennis Zeisler is a fine clarinetist, and this movement is a favorite of his.

Mozart Variations employs a reverse variation technique where the playing of the theme in its original form is reserved until the finale of the work, as in d”Indy’s Istar variations. Variation 1 features a clipped rhythmic reflection of the asymmetrical (4,5,4,3,4) structure of Mozart’s theme. Variation 2 is a Saltarello right out of the Italian countryside. Variation 3 features an ostinato derived from the initial rhythmic gesture of the theme, over which pitches of the theme are given in (nearly literal) inversion. Variation 4 is a Polonaise, no surprise from a Polish-American composer writing for a dear friend. Variation 5 is a chorale in the tradition of the Nimrod variation from Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Variation 6 is a vertiginous phantasmagoria employing retrograde. Variation 7 is a scherzo … all variation sets need a fleeting scherzo!

Following a percussion crescendo, the Theme is finally presented, first tutti, then in a transparent texture reflecting Mozart’s original orchestration featuring solo clarinet. The winds intone “Thank you, Denn-nis” before the final chord.

- Program Note from Old Dominion University Wind Ensemble concert program, 8 April 2018


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer