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Variations on a Theme by Hindemith, for orchestra (1962–3)

• Composition: October 1962 through February 1963. The theme is from the second movement of Hindemith’s Cello Concerto.
First Performance: 8 March 1963. Royal Festival Hall, London. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir William Walton conductor.
Duration: About 23 minutes
    Theme. Andante con moto
    Variation 1. Vivace
    Variation 2. Allegramente
    Variation 3. Larghetto    
    Variation 4. Moto perpetuo
    Variation 5. Andante con moto
    Variation 6. Scherzando
    Variation 7. Lento molto
    Variation 8. Vivacissimo
    Variation 9. Maestoso    
    Finale. Allegro molto
    Coda. A tempo primo, ma meno mosso     

Dedication: To Paul and Gertrud Hindemith
Craggs Catalogue Number: C76
Instrumentation: 3 flutes, piccolo, 3 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon – 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba – timpani, 3 percussion (side drum, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, suspended cymbals, tambourine, xylophone, triangle, bells, glockenspiel) – harp – strings
Manuscript: Frederick R. Koch Collection. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Manuscript FRKF 600. Autograph full score. Dated ‘Forio 6.2.63’. 104 pages. With an additional 54 pages of full-score sketches.
William Walton Museum, Forio d’Ischia. One page of manuscript, together with notes.
Publication: Oxford University Press. Study score, 1963, 019 3684500. Score and parts are available on hire. [Purchase online from SheetMusicPlus.com: Study score]


Orchestra Conductor Year Compact Disc Timing
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Sir William Walton 1963 BBC Legends 4098-2 23’04”
Cleveland Orchestra George Szell 1965 Sony Classical 62753 22’48”
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Vernon Handley 1988 EMI Classics 86596 23’19”
London Philharmonic Jan Latham-Koenig 1992 Chandos CHAN 9106 24’17”
English Northern Philharmonia Paul Daniel 1996 Naxos 8.553869 22’45”