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Variations for Flute and Piano  1982

Program Notes

The term “variations” often connotes sterility but, to me, there is no musical form that is more personal. The opening theme, three emotionally charged phrases, might sometimes be obvious, other times obscure as it mutates through the subsequent variations. Don't worry about it. What is important is the ebb and flow of one variation moving into the next, often without pause, and the mosaic of differing moods that pour forth as a result.


The outline of the work is as follows:

Theme -- Maestoso

Variation 1: Mournful; delicate

Var. 2: Cold, with little expression

Var. 3: A little faster

Var. 4: Angrily

Var. 5: Mournful

Var. 6: Passionately

Var. 7: Giocoso

Var. 8: Con spirito

Var. 9: Somber

Var. 10: Allegro, reiteration of original theme

Var. 11: Coda; espressivo, with resignation


Over the years, friends and colleagues have sometimes teased me for my apparent lack of imagination regarding the naming of my compositions. Kind listeners, I can only hope that you find the content of the work contains more passion than its title.

Listen to flutist Eldred Spell and pianist

Marcia Murray play Variations for Flute

and Piano (and kindly forgive the low fidelity).

Duration 11'

"Rokeach's 1982 flute-piano duo is a peach of a work. The composer suggests that the variation format may not be discernible on initial exposure. But the ear adjusts quickly to the flutist's delirious flights, much like a coloratura soprano in the maddest of embellished mad scenes. Flutist Angela Koregelos gave a smashing performance, supplying an infinite variety of colors, bedazzling passagework and breath control to spare."

San Francisco Examiner

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