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

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 part that was giving me the greatest trouble, and making a helpful suggestion.

    This collection ranges from easy (one is in the style of a Gymnopédie à la Satie) to quite dramatic, rhythmic and demanding, and are in my style (and Violet's) of dissonant tonality. There have been a few performances, but I have lost track of all but one.

    A partial score (the opening 4 of 13 pages) can be downloaded by clicking above left, and a Logic Pro version (computer generated) can be heard below. 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!

Hear a computer-generated sound file