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Variations on a Theme by Haydn (tr Popkin)

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Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms (trans. Mark Popkin)

This work bears the designation Opus 56a.

General Info

Year: 1873 / 1996
Duration: c. 21:05
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Edition Compusic, through Music Shop
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €29.95


1. Theme. Chorale St. Antoni. Andante
2.Variation I. Poco più animato (Andante con moto)
3. Variation II. Più vivace (Vivace)
4. Variation III. Con moto
5. Variation IV. Andante con moto (Andante)
6. Variation V. Vivace (Poco presto)
7. Variation VI. Vivace
8. Variation VII. Grazioso
9. Variation VIII. Presto non troppo (Poco presto)
10. Finale. Andante


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn, now also called the Saint Anthony Variations, is a work in the form of a theme and variations, composed by Johannes Brahms in the summer of 1873 at Tutzing in Bavaria. It consists of a theme in B-flat major based on a Chorale St Antoni, eight variations, and a finale. The work was published in two versions: for two pianos, written first but designated Op. 56b; and for orchestra, designated Op. 56a.

The orchestral version is often said to be the first independent set of variations for orchestra in the history of music, although there is at least one earlier piece in the same form, Antonio Salieri's Twenty-six Variations on 'La folia di Spagna' written in 1815.

The first performance of the orchestral version was given on 2 November 1873 by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Brahms's baton.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • New England Conservatory (Boston, Mass.) Symphonic Winds (William Drury, conductor) - 14 October 2021
  • Indiana Wind Symphony (Carmel) Chamber Ensemble (Charles Conrad, conductor) - 21 February 2021

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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  • Brahms, J.; Popkin, M.; Haydn, J. (1996). Variations on a Theme by Joseph Haydn : op. 56a : (Chorale S. Antonii) [score]. Edition Compusic: Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Wikipedia Accessed 21 February 2021