Variation Cycles of Mark Andre Hamelin: Composer Interpretation of the Genre

Roksana Nikolenko


Relevance of the study. Variation form is one of the most popular forms that for many centuries of its existence continues to attract the attention of composers, performers, and has a welldeveloped theoretical basis in musicology. One example of this creative interpretation varicent acts composing the heritage of the Canadian piano virtuoso M.-A. Hamelin, who in his variation cycles demonstrates a new approach to their interpretation. Among them is the use of methods of variation, which were used in the music of the XV–XVI centuries, for example, coloring, the imitation of the composition specifics cantus firmus. M.-A. Hamelin also uses very peculiar means of variation, which are not taken into account in traditional classifications and require separate consideration among which are methods of parody, working with the model, the principle of variation.

The Main objective of the study is to determine interpretation’s specifics of the variation cycle in the composer's work of M.-A. Hamelin. Since the composer's legacy and the specifics of the artist's individual style have not yet received full scientific coverage, this determines the relevance of the chosen theme.

Methodology the study is based on an integrated approach which is based on the structural-functional, genre-stylistic, historical and monographic methods. The methodological basis consists of scientific works are devoted to the variational forms, varicent and variability, a review of contemporary composition techniques, artistic techniques for working with borrowed thematic material, and specifics of the individual composing style.

Results and conclusions. The genre of variations, has a long history of development in the composition and performing arts, continues to be relevant in the XXI century, attracting the attention of contemporary artists. Confirmation of this can be the composing work of Canadian piano virtuoso M.-A. Hamelin, whose embodiment of this genre is quite original. Interpreting the cycles individually, the composer demonstrates concert-virtuoso and chamber samples. Each of them has an original solution in terms of compositional construction of the whole, and in detail. Typical for the interpretation of this genre is the use within one work of much more foreign thematic material than stated by the composer in the title. Quite often, the artist tends to cross-cutting development, combining several variations of the cycle, while clearly cutting sections of the form. The artist applies the methods of variation inherent in the music of the XV–XVI centuries. Coloring, imitation of the specific composition on cantus firmus, which are manifested in modified melodic and rhythmic structure of the original in such a way that the main reference melodic-rhythmic and harmonic outlines are preserved providing thematism recognition of its original source. Also the composer's style as a whole and the interpretation of the variation cycle is characterized by the introduction of citation material in re-arranged, not original form.

Significance. The obtained results can be used for a deeper understanding of the specifics of the individual composer style of M.-A. Hamelin, as well as some trends in the modern development of piano art


composer art works of M.-A. Hamelin; genre of variations; thematic material; quotes; variation


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ISSN 2522-4190 (print)
ISSN 2522-4204 (online)