Variations on a Theme “Around Mozart” (Edison Denisov)


The article deals with several interrelated cases of composers’ treatment of the scores by their predecessors: the bass aria from the Handel’s Messiah arranged by Mozart; J. Brahms’ Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel; M. Kagel’s Variations without Fugue; the completing of Mozart’s Kyrie (KV 323) by E. V. Denisov. The transformation of the original in each of these cases had its own specifics, as well as its reasons and motives, which the author of the article explains. Nevertheless, it is useful to build these episodes of musical history in a series: when traveling in time, we see how the degree of authorial freedom concerning a transformation of the original source increased and how some insights of the classics could give impetus to the innovations of the 20th century.