(for piano solo)Larry Lipkis - Larry Lipkis
Publisher Desc. The character of Scaramouche was a stock figure of the Commedia dell Arté, a form of semi-improvisational comic theatre that was very popular in Italy and France during the 16th and 17th centuries. He was a swaggering clown/soldier of self-inflated lineage, whose romantic and libational pursuits routinely led to great public disturbances, from which he would cheerfully emerge without the slightest inconvenience or injury. His name, in Italian, means "little skirmisher," and though he was forever jousting at shadows and creating a nuisance for friends and foes alike, he had in fact a multi-dimensional personality. He was often mercurial in temperament, now frisky and winsome, the next moment dark and brooding. It is perhaps his plaintive, meditative, even romantic side which makes his character one of the more appealing ones of the entire Commedia cast. Thematically, each of the five variations explores all or part of a simple diatonic melody which is taken from the opening movement of my cello concerto, "Scaramouche." The theme is never stated in its complete form, but is treated in a kaleidoscopic, almost cinematic fashion. The melodic fragments are put through a variety of chromatic paces, though overall the harmonic language remains emphatically triadic, if not always tonal in the traditional sense. While there is no specific storyline, or "Till Eulenspiegel"-type narrative, the pianist and listeners are invited to imagine an appropriately fanciful scenario for each of the five variations, which are marked, in turn, Drammatico, Playful, Mock-sinister, Plaintive, and Brilliante. Duration: approximately 7'30"
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