Variations comiques
for wind quintet and strings

Morris Kates
Morris Kates
Composition Date: 2002
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Oboe
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Bassoon
  • 1 x String orchestra
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Chamber orch.
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Programme Note:
"This composition is a set of ten variations on an original theme, scored for wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn) and string orchestra. It is a rearrangement of a previous set of variations on the same theme, scored for oboe, clarinet, bassoon and strings. The theme consists of a 4-bar simple melody with an unexpected (comical?) final note, which is why I chose the title 'Variations Comiques'. This 4- bar melody then alternates between the strings and the winds to complete the theme.

Variations of the theme are then developed by each of the wind soloists and by groups of soloists in increasingly complex and virtuoso style, with the strings offering their 'straight-faced' comments. Not all of the variations are comical, however, some are sad, almost tragic. The variations reach a climax in a four-voice fugue (Variation 9) which leads into the final variation, a scherzo, in which the soloists compete with each other and with the strings to get in the last word.

I want to express my gratitude to the Canadian Music Centre for making the performance of this work possible." - from score.


  • Call Number:
  • MI 1200 K195var 2002
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • November 18, 2004
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (iv, 22 p.) ;
    26 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Parts page count: 39
    10 parts ((39) p.) ;
    39 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • For wind quintet and strings.
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