I'm writing this blog from a lovely city RV Park in Eastern Oregon. Our vacation has been enjoyable and I have found a few times to compose my next commission, which is a piece for Flute and Clarinet for the Ballif Duo. I was listening to my satellite radio and heard Elgar's Enigma Variations which is one of my favorite pieces and thought I'd like to write a set of variations in the manner of Elgar. The "Enigma Variations" is truly a symphonic development of the musical material rather than a set of variations where the theme structure remains the same and the variations are built on that structure. My "Regal Variations" (Regal being and anagram of Elgar) will attempt to symphonic develop the theme as well.
I have composed my thematic material. It is about 45 seconds in length and is in a lilting 6/8 rhythm. The theme is in a rounded binary form ABA'. The A section goes from the beginning to measure 13 and the B section from 13 to the end. It is rounded because a small piece of A returns in the last two measures. In addition to the use of canon between the two parts, much of the melodic material is motivically derived, therefore giving the theme a symphonic quality even before the variations begin.
As I was composing this, I kept questioning whether this is my theme or will it turn out to be a variation. It was only when I began the first variation that I became convinced that this is my theme. I have just begun the first variation so I will discuss that after it is complete.
To see and hear what I have composed thus far, go to http://www.cooppress.net/regalvariationsblog.html
The score is in concert pitch.