Las Meninas: Variations-OB/CEL/GUITAR/PN
Composer: Alpher, David
Publisher: Brixton Publications
for oboe, cello, guitar, and piano
by David Alpher-American composer
from the composer:
This composition was inspired by the visual variations that Pablo Picasso painted in 1957 on Diego Velasquez' 1656 masterpiece commonly known as Las Meninas.
My work is in tow large sections. The first eight variations (which together make up the first section) refer to the entire Theme, with Variation 1 meant to suddenly thrust the listener into our own brutal century. Variations 9-12 (the second section) vary only three melodic fragments contained in the Theme. Not one of these fragments is the main melody of the Theme; they are subsidiary or bridge material at best. The fragments take on importance in Variations 9-21, just as Picasso chose (in many of his variations) to deal with only one or two characters, rather than the whole Velasquez scene. I selected these little snippets of melody solely for their innocuous, easily malleable natures that would take on personality as a result of different musical treatments during the course of Variations 9-21. Toward the end of Variation 21, I reintroduce the type of guitar accompanimental figure heard throughout the theme, but not since. This figure gradually assumes more prominence as the rest of the texture thins out, bringing the listener's memory back to the Theme and suggesting a rounding of the composition as it concludes.
I have felt free to employ several different musical styles. This is analogous to the many stylistic changes that Picasso effected from one painting to the next. My composition is unified structurally, not stylistically.