Bizet, Georges

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Bizet, Georges

Variations Chromatiques for piano. Revised by Felix Weingartner

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Bizet, Georges

Variations Chromatiques for piano. Revised by Felix Weingartner

Information:

The Variations chromatiques are Bizet’s last work for solo piano, and his only set of variations. Why he wrote them is not immediately obvious, although they are thought to have been inspired by Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor, WoO 80, a work that Bizet is known to have admired.1 Further inspiration reportedly came from the playing of Élie Delaborde, later Professor of Piano at the Paris Conservatoire; however, this connection is perhaps less certain.2 The Variations are dedicated to the piano pedagogue, virtuoso and composer Stephen Heller, who had moved to Paris in the year of Bizet’s birth. Intriguingly, Heller later used the theme of Beethoven’s WoO 80 as the basis for his own set of 33 Variations über ein Thema von Beethoven, published in 1871 as his op. 130.

It seems very likely that Bizet composed the Variations during spring/summer 1868. The first surviving mention of them appears in a letter to Galabert from June 1868. In it, the composer tells his friend “J’ai terminé la symphonie. J’ai renoncé aux variations” (I have finished the symphony. I’ve given up on the variations). Something seems to have happened to change his mind, however, as in a further letter to Galabert that July he writes “I have just finished some Grandes variations chromatiques for piano. …

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Score No.

4441b

Edition

Repertoire Explorer

Genre

Solo Instrument

Size

225 x 320 mm

Printing

Reprint

Pages

24

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