Theme and variation is a very interesting concept because, beyond the obvious spin one ultimately applies to the main theme, one can't deny all the previous experiences one will draw from consciously and subliminally.
There are many brilliant examples of theme and variation but the grand daddy of them all is THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS by Bach which remains the bench- mark for anyone who chooses to indulge in the form, let alone, counterpoint.
The ROSENBERGER VARIATIONS use the GOLDBERG as a model with the main theme at the beginning and the end bracketing the interior variations. The main theme, a fanfare, was written ten years ago in New York. The variations were written in Nuzerov, a village just outside Susice in Sumava, the Czech Republic as follows:
Variation # 1-Reggae-5/28/98
Variation # 2-"+9"-5/23/98
Variation # 3-"R & B" Waltz-5/23 & 6/4/98
Variation # 4-minor mode-5/21/98
Variation # 5-Rock "n" Roll-6/4/98
Variation # 6-Romantique-6/7-8/98
Variation # 7-Bebop-6/12-13/98
Variation # 8-Pizz.-6/13/98
Variation # 9-Fugue-6/12-14/98
Variation # 10-Merangue-6/18/98
Variation # 11-March-6/18-19/98
Variation # 12-Viennese Waltz-6/21/98
Variation # 13-Etude-6/24, 27-28/98
Variation # 14-Funk-6/24, 7/1-2/98
Variation # 15-7/11-13/98
Irmgard Hess Rosenberger is an octagenarian who remembers the way music was before the advent of serial composition, an etude taken far too seriously in my opinion, and with it the truncation of the sostenuto phrase. Embraced by the politically intimidating academic camp, it also began the excuse for pseudo- intellectualism where creators found it necessary to get into effectualism to appear original and more important to talk about their work than to let the work simply explain itself in performance. The subsequent lack of willingness to communicate with the audience all but alienated our contemporary audience from having any interest in classical music at all!
Irmgard's father, Alfred Hess, was the concert master of the Frankfurt Philharmonic Orchestra; her uncle, Frederick, was the principal cellist of the original Chicago Orchestra which was to change its name to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and her other uncle, Willy, was the director of the Royal High School for Music in Berlin. It is not surprising that notables such as Max Bruch and Richard Strauss stayed in her home.
This Renaissance woman, who is equally alarmed by how the classical elite has all but thumbed its nose at the audience, befriended me (and my music). She has a deep passion about the arts and was to ultimately donate the million- dollar Judaica collection of her late husband, Ludwig, to the University of Chicago library. She feels it is her job as a teacher, let alone her duty as a humanitarian, to connect the wisdom of her generation and give prospective to later generations.
May the synergy she has created be contagious!
Those who only see the deficit in their lives will live in an empty world.
Those who recognize the assets will live with endless possibilities.
The Spanish Synagogue was built on the site where, according to the records, the oldest Jewish home of prayer in Prague, the Old School, used to stand, dating back to the 11th or 12th century. During the Occupation, the synagogue was used as a storage place for the belongings stolen from the Jews by the Nazis. Following the war services were again held but were discontinued in 1948. Between 1960 and 1979, under the aegis of the State Jewish Museum, the Spanish Synagogue became the location for a permanent exhibition of synagogical textiles. The building was then closed due to the need for urgent repairs. These, however, were not carried out and, with the resulting neglect, the damage worsened to the point that the buildings existence was at risk.
Now, November 25, 1998, twenty-six years later and interestingly coinciding with the one hundred and thirtieth anniversary of the buildings construction, this newly renovated synagogue opens as a cultural center for artistic ideas, a museum of Moravian and Czech Jewish history, as well as a place for meditation.
I am very honored to have the world premiere of my ROSENBERGER VARIATIONS be part of the opening festivities.
For those of us that believe...
The Renaissance is upon us!