Five Variations on a Theme of Violet Archer
for Piano solo (1975)
by Ron Hannah

Duration: about 8 minutes

    As her final assignment in my student days, Violet gave her class the task of analyzing a work of her own from which she had deleted portions - a few bars here, a line there. We were to rebuild what was missing from what she had left on the page. My


 Featured on my 2nd dedicated CD: 

 Music for Piano and Organ 
Label: PGMaudio 2201-2

Stream on Youtube
Various Reviews

reconstruction proved to be quite close to the original, so I guess I had learned something. At any rate, I came to enjoy the theme and so wrote these variations as a parting tribute to a beloved teacher. She always had a way of taking my week's writing assignment, finding the very point at which I was having the greatest trouble (perhaps she just noticed the erasure marks - this was after all in the ancient time of pencil and paper), and making a helpful suggestion.

    This collection ranges from spiky and sassy (Var.1), to highly academic (Var.4 is a fugue). Variation 3 is in the style of a Gymnopédie à la Satie, while #5 is a tricky waltz - all in my style (and Violet's) of dissonant tonality. Variation 2 should only be tackled by pianists with a solid technique! There have been a few performances, many of which I have lost track of, but I am pleased to say that it has finally been properly recorded by Christopher Devine, for inclusion on my second Compact Disc, which fianlly appeared toward the end of 2022.

     If you would like to perform it, please send me an email (below) or visit the Canadian Music Centre. I ask on every page of this extensive site that people inform me of performances so that I can keep up-to-date. They rarely do, but should you care to play it and send me a recording, that would be nice too!