I am now in southern Oregon and had a chance to work on the first variation and complete it today. The first variation is in a Presto tempo which creates a dramatic contrast to the lilting theme. The motives from the theme that play a dominant role in this variation are the flute idea from M. 9 of the theme and the 16th note descending pattern first seen in M. 6 of the flute in the theme. The rhythm of these ideas is translated into a 2/4 pattern.
After a two measure flourish in the flute, variation 1 begins with the descending idea in the clarinet in measure 3 followed by the two 16th and eighth motive in the flute in measure 4. At M. 7-9, the clarinet has a syncopated version of the two 16th and eighth idea that later turns into a hemiola (3/8 against the 2/4) ostinato accompanying the melody lines. The lines develop and subtly change as the movement progresses. About 2/3 through the variation, I felt things were getting tonally static. This suggested the idea of sequencing down a step that led to the material at 68-70 and 81-end. The variation ends quietly after being loud and energetic throughout.
To see and hear what I have composed thus far, go to http://www.cooppress.net/regalvariationsblog.html
The score is in concert pitch.