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Aramis
January 4th, 2012, 01:10 PM
A form that used to be very fashionable in romantic period. Many now-forgotten salon composers - pianists or violininsts themselves, were writting virtuosic variations on themes from popular (at that time) operas. Some greats contributed to the genre too. Can you think of some of such works that you particularly like?

For me, the first thing that comes to mind are Chopin's variations on La ci darem la mano, for piano and orchestra. Very early composition of him but masterful and highly enjoyable, some poetry and some pure fun:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT49wZXRo-c

Another early piece of his - E major variations on final aria from La Cenerentola (Rossini) is written for flute and piano. The accompaniament is not that great but I love how he develops the theme and makes sublime and melancholic music from such vocal showpiece (first "sad" variation starts at 1:22):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw0Ru8oXM0o

Schigolch
January 4th, 2012, 01:19 PM
This is my favourite piece:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCET-PkFgkI