Variations on a Theme of Rossini for cello and piano by Bohuslav Martinu
Published by Boosey and Hawkes
Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) was a prolific and noted Czech composer of the 20th century. Like Dvorak and Janacek before him, a certain Czech spirit is prominent in his music. Early studies in France exposed him to the music of Debussy, Stravinsky, and jazz; his music later took on neo-classical qualities after his move to the United States, where he was associated with the Boston Symphony and Tanglewood. His writing is characterized by piquant harmony, kinetic, driving passages, and glittering color. He made important contributions to virtually all genres, including symphonies, concertos, and extensive chamber music.
Martinu's ''Variations on a Theme of Rossini'' for cello and piano (1942) was one of his first compositions after moving to the United States. The theme, the prayer ''Dal tuo stellate soglio'' from Rossini's ''Moses in Egypt'', was first used by Paganini in his light-hearted ''Variations on a G String''. Martinu likewise transforms the solemn, reverential theme into a buoyant, sparkling showpiece for the cello. Master level, grade 6.