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Variations in a serious black dress (quintets: saxophone, piano, violin, viola, double bass)

by Elena Kats-Chernin (1995, this version: 1998)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work
This sample is from the Solo Piano version of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Lisa Moore from the CD Purple, black & blues

This sample is of the Solo Piano version of this work

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Perpetual motion machine


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Perpetual motion machine / Topology.

Library shelf no. CD 1060 [Available for loan]

Variations in a serious black dress


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Variations in a serious black dress : for piano solo / Elena Kats-Chernin.

Version: This product features the Solo Piano version of this work

Library shelf no. 786.2175/KAT 1 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (4 more)  

Work Overview

This piece is conceived as a set of variations on two contrasting themes-both stated successfively at the very beginning. Theme 1 is a melody employing a limited number of pitches. Theme 2 follows as a cycle of 13 chords with A minor as the harmonic centre. These chords incidentally also build the basis of "Chamber of Horrors" for harp solo. In the first two variations these elements are treated simultaneously, whereas starting form the third they get more and more detached from one another. The means of varying the material are derived from aspects of rhythm, register and texture, while the melodic/harmonic shape remains static almost throughout.
The piece exists in a recording by Stephanie McCallum on Portrait CD "Clocks" (ABC Classics).

Some years ago a Brisbane based group TOPOLOGY made a recording of them playing an arrangement of this piece made by Robert Davidson.

Work Details

Year: 1995, this version: 1998

Instrumentation: Saxophone, piano, violin, viola, double bass.

Duration: 10 min.


Performances of this work

1994: Sydney Town Hall, at a concert of composers playing their own pieces. Featuring Elena Kats-Chernin.

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