Derivations from Handel’s “Ombra Mai Fu” (2005)
(Co-composed with Cherise Leiter)
Theme
Variation I:  Add 9, 11, 13
Variation II:  Inversion
Variation III:  Fugue
Variation IV:  Phrygian
Variation V:  Bitonal
Variation VI:  Boogie
Variation VII:  Finale


piano duet - four hands
Duration: 14 minutes

Premiere: Leanna Kirchoff and Cherise Leiter, November 6, 2005, Limon, CO

Other performances:
Leanna Kirchoff, Cherise Leiter, Metropolitan State College of Denver, February 10, 2006

Leanna Kirchoff, Cherise Leiter, Metropolitan State College of Denver, February 13, 2006

Leanna Kirchoff, Cherise Leiter, College Music Society Rocky Mountain Chapter Conference, March 17, 2006, Fort Collins, CO

Tamara Goldstein and Mutsumi Moteki, October 2007, Kobe and Takayama, Japan

Leanna Kirchoff, Cherise Leiter, New Music Symposium, Colorado College, July 11, 2008, Colorado Springs, CO
 

Program notes:  Derivations from Handel’s “Ombra mai fu” is based upon an aria theme from Handel’s opera “Serse.”  Composer-pianists Leanna Kirchoff and Cherise Leiter co-wrote the piece as an experiment in joint composition.  The theme and seven variations explore inherent ensemble and choreographic difficulties of piano duet repertoire.  Overlapping hands, chordal textures, and alternating melodies between pianists are found throughout the piece.  Both the theme and final variation feature the melody divided between primo and secondo parts, even to the point of passing one note at a time between each pianist.  Inner movements of the work feature inverted versions of the melody, counterpoint, phrygian and bitonal reharmonizations of the original theme and a lighthearted boogie variation.  The piece is a choreographic showcase of hand crossings with neither the primo nor the secondo part remaining exclusively high or low.

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