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Theodore Servin

Fantasy-Variations in G-sharp minor, Op. 12

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone,

It has again been a while since I have posted anything, and I have a new piece to show you all: the Fantasy-Variations in G-sharp minor. This piece was written in 2020. The theme is based on an aria from the 1967 opera "Grigory Melekhov" by the composer Ivan Dzerzhinsky.

Ivan Dzerzhinsky (1909-1978) was a Soviet composer and pianist, best known for his operas and popular songs. His most famous work is the 1935 opera "Quietly Flows the Don" (based on the novel of the same name by writer Mikhail Sholokhov), which was a success at its premiere, and which launched Dzerzhinsky's career as a composer. He continued writing operas over the next several decades, including "Virgin Soil Upturned" (from which the duet "The Cossack Song" has since become popular among Russian ensembles), "Fate of a Man", and of course, "Grigory Melekhov" (also based on Sholokhov's novel). Aside from operas and vocal works, he also composed piano concertos and piano suites. His music usually is quite traditional and accessible, many pieces bearing similarities to Mussorgsky and even Puccini.

With the exception of "The Cossack Song", his works receive very few performances today, and they are almost entirely within Russia. Furthermore, he has been labeled a "hack" by musicologists for his musical style, and for his status within the Soviet Union. I wrote this piece because I thought Dzerzhinsky's melody was too beautiful to be forgotten, and I wanted to make it available to other people, as well as to add something new to it; this is not meant to be a political piece.

All that said, I hope you all enjoy the piece. 馃檪

Also, for those of you who are interested, here is the original theme:

Edited by Theodore Servin
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This is Marvelous. You are very talented. I concur with many of the comments on the YouTube forum. Is this a recorded performance, or a MIDI rendition? If I am frank there is too much human emotion in the performance to pass off as a computer! 馃槃

You have perhaps converted me to your style of work from the tedious galant, cliche ridden patterns that I for whatever reason chose to specialize in haha!

Thank you for sharing.

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Beautiful work. The development of the theme is very natural, and all underpinned by lovely harmonies. I'd never heard of Dzerzhinsky before this - perhaps one to check out!

Thank you for sharing.

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This is Marvelous. You are very talented. I concur with many of the comments on the YouTube forum. Is this a recorded performance, or a MIDI rendition? If I am frank there is too much human emotion in the performance to pass off as a computer! 馃槃

You have perhaps converted me to your style of work from the tedious galant, cliche ridden patterns that I for whatever reason chose to specialize in haha!

Thank you for sharing.

Thank you, @Markus Boyd! I never expected my music to make such an impression on people! 馃槃 Also, this is actually my performance.

Quote

Beautiful work. The development of the theme is very natural, and all underpinned by lovely harmonies. I'd never heard of Dzerzhinsky before this - perhaps one to check out!

Thank you for sharing.

Thank you, @aMusicComposer! I'm glad I was able to introduce you to a new composer! 馃檪

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Really beautiful, Theodore! Plus, a really fantastic performance (I'm assuming, otherwise, what do you use to create audio like that?!)

Unfortunately, I can't be particularly critical as I have no experience writing in this style and don't usually listen to this type of music much, but what I can say is that I really enjoyed it, in particular the first half (as per my preferences for earlier styles) and聽you've clearly accomplished what you set out to achieve in making sure this melody isn't forgotten, so bravo!

You make wonderful use of the piano's expressive capabilities and I think you should begin to think about publishing, if you've not already done so.

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The genius of the greats lives on in you. This was breathtaking in every way. Thoughtfully composed, expertly played, subtly emoted. If you aren't hailed as one of the foremost composers/musicians of your generation one day... well, people must be deaf. 馃槈

Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to hearing more from you! Have you ever considered composing chamber or orchestral music?

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Really beautiful, Theodore! Plus, a really fantastic performance (I'm assuming, otherwise, what do you use to create audio like that?!)

Unfortunately, I can't be particularly critical as I have no experience writing in this style and don't usually listen to this type of music much, but what I can say is that I really enjoyed it, in particular the first half (as per my preferences for earlier styles) and聽you've clearly accomplished what you set out to achieve in making sure this melody isn't forgotten, so bravo!

You make wonderful use of the piano's expressive capabilities and I think you should begin to think about publishing, if you've not already done so.

@DanJTitchener Thank you for your compliments! I'm glad you enjoyed the piece. I have actually considered self-publishing (mostly just making a nice score of one of my pieces on nice paper), and I haven't thrown the idea out of the window yet.

Quote

The genius of the greats lives on in you. This was breathtaking in every way. Thoughtfully composed, expertly played, subtly emoted. If you aren't hailed as one of the foremost composers/musicians of your generation one day... well, people must be deaf. 馃槈

Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to hearing more from you! Have you ever considered composing chamber or orchestral music?

@T贸nsk谩ld Thank you so much! I am honored that you think of my music in this way! I actually have some chamber music posted online, and there are some more chamber pieces coming in the near future. In the mean time, if you're interested, you can listen to some of those earlier pieces, as I have posted them here on this forum. 馃槃

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