1963 Chamber music Keyboards

Lucy Escott Variations

For harpsichord

Year of composition 1963
Duration
10 minutes

World premiere

World premiere March 21st 1965

Berlin

Harpsichord Klaus Billing

Comment

This homage to the coloratura soprano Lucy Escott (London, c.1820) consists of a number of variations, merging one into another, of the aria “Come a me sereno” from the first act of Bellini’s “Sonnambula”. The piano writing is cast in a romantic style with an impassioned, pointedly outmoded expression, explained not only by the tonal properties of the theme, which naturally affect the whole harmonic life of these varia- tions, but also by its specific, incomparably Classical Sicilian atmosphere.

Hans Werner Henze