Variations on a Theme of Paganini - Flexible Woodwind Octet

Variations on a Theme of Paganini - Flexible Woodwind Octet

Printed set (Score & Parts)
[Part 1] Flute, Eb Clarinet
[Part 2] Flute, Oboe, Eb Clarinet, Bb Clarinet
[Part 3] Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Bb Soprano Saxophone
[Part 4] Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Eb Alto Saxophone
[Part 5] Bb Clarinet, Eb Alto Saxophone
[Part 6] Bb Clarinet, Bb Tenor Saxophone
[Part 7] Tuba, String Bass, Bassoon, Bb Bass Clarinet, Eb Baritone Saxophone
[Percussion] Marimba

The original octet version was composed in September 2013, commissioned by Kokugakuin Tochigi Junior College, and premiered in the same year by the same college chamber music study group.

When I received the request for this composition, it was difficult to envision the ensemble sound balance especially in the middle range because the composition called for 2 flutes, 3 clarinets, 1 alto saxophone, 1 tuba, and percussion. I had never before written for this unique type of mixed octet. However, as I kept thinking about the most effective use of instrumentation, this unique setting created something special with a character new to my experience.

This is the woodwind flexible ensemble version. Feel free to try various combinations of instruments and enjoy each particular flavor.

The middle section is lyrical, the second half should be passionate and powerful, and the last note "A" should be played with large and filling presence to bring out this piece's attractiveness.

* I left the Tuba in Part 7 so the piece can be played in the original setting if desired.

(Hiroaki Kataoka)