Variations on "Over the Rainbow"

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Variations on "Over the Rainbow"

Postby DLGoodman » Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:05 am

The familiar "Over the Rainbow" theme was composed for the Wizard of Oz movie score by Harold Arlen, with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, in 1938.

“Over the Rainbow” is a song that is symbolic of everyone’s dreams. That is how Judy Garland described her Wizard of Oz classic, the song she said was closest to her heart. For the Van Cliburn Fourth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs (Ft. Worth TX, June 2004), I wrote a set of variations based on this theme to perform if I reached the finals. (I did not.)
It seemed an appropriate theme to be performed at the competition, as it captured the hopes of all the competitors and my own dream of trying to play at the very highest level.

The piece consists of the theme and five variations in the style of five well-known composers.
Here is my challenge. You earn one point for correctly identifying the composer and another point for correctly identifying the particular work on which the variation is based. Top score among pianists at the competition was a five.

If you send me your guesses, I will point you to a webpage where I have posted answers and a musical score. I suggest not posting guesses on the piano society website, at least not yet, since that might ruin the challenge for other musicians.



Stylistic Rainbow

Postby jcfeli » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm

Hello Dan,

I enjoyed listening to your Variations on "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" very much. They were cleverly conceived and played quite well.

So as not to spoil the fun, I shall private message you with my guesses at four of the five composers and their corresponding pieces.

Your live performance recording gave me a chuckle, each time I listened to it, after you had finished your second variation -- regarding the audience's involvement and desire to applaud.


Joe <jcfeli>

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Postby techneut » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:03 pm

A very clever and likable set indeed ! And played with real flair, especially the last one. What a shame you could not take this to the Cliburn finale - this only proves how enormously high the quality of participants in that competition is. No problem to get this onto PianoSociety though :D

I'll take a stab at the composers, though I'm not sure of all of them and could only clearly identify one particular work. Which is a compliment to the originality of the writing.

So shall we now sign you on as a Society Member Composer as well, or was this a one-time composition ?
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer

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Postby DLGoodman » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:00 pm

Chris -
Glad you liked it.
Just leave me as a pianist (not a composer) - I regularly do improvisations but almost never write out scores. I'll send you some Brahms next.

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Postby robert » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:48 pm

Really great to listen to and interesting variations. Very well performed too, could only hear a couple of slips but it did not disturb at all. Great job!


Postby Anonymous » Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:39 pm

Wow, I only could smile after hearing this music. :)

Very good job!


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