Greensleeves + 3 Variations

After this traditional tune, I play three variations on the piano. I composed these variations in 2020.


Variation 1

The title of variation 1, is: “The Twos”. This name comes from a two-note chord in the right hand which acts as punctuation, whilst the left hand plays the melody in the lower part of the keyboard emulating a sonorous cello. These two-note chords are a tone or semitone apart throughout, except on one occasion. These rather terse sounding chords are always forced. The whole variation sounds like a tussle between mellow and sour.

Variation 2

The title of variation 2, is: “The Slide”.  In this variation, the left hand literary slides up and down the keyboard as fast as possible. After each slide, the right hand plays a single note which is held for a judged length of time, acting as a distinct contrast to the quick notes of the sliding left hand. The struck single notes are held depressed for as long as artistically possible. Imagine these notes being played on the down bow of a violin. NB: the slides are flamboyant, free and need not be accurate.

Variation 3

The title of variation 3, is: “The Agitator alla Toccata”. A translation of this would be: “to be played agitatedly in a manner where touch and virtuosic technique is required”. This is firmly a postmodern variation on the traditional Greensleeves tune. The pulsating left hand hammers out the melody and combines obsessively repeating notes at certain key junctures with continuous sweeps of passagework. It can be seen, and heard, as relentless driving machine-like kinetic movements at a moderately fast pace. Although the right hand retains some resemblance to the vertical movement of the melody, the notes are dissonant. On their own, one could hear a logic but, when played with the left hand the whole piece almost does not make sense. Highly entertaining with an emphatic end.

Click here to hear me play: Greensleeves + 3 Variations