Variations on Chick Coreas La Fiesta
Composer: Kim Helweg
Instrument: Two Pianos
Duration: 12 min.
Variations on Chick Corea’s La Fiesta, Opus 6 (1991).
Written with the support of the Danish Arts Council.
This piece was written as the first of several works commissioned by the Thorson and Thurber piano duo which later on also included Blue Edge and the double piano concerto DVOJNIK.
It has the traditional structure of Theme and Variations’, being built upon the popular piece by Chick Corea. The 2 piano version that Corea himself made together with Herbie Hancock as well as Lutoslawski Paganini Variations for 2 pianos (that Kim Helweg had studied for his piano exam) became the basic inspiration for this composition. The piece is homage to the 70ties with its massive cross-over from flamenco, jazz, rock, romantic to modern piano style ...
About the composer +
Kim Helweg began composing at the age of 13 and made his professional debut in 1974 with the composition "A Little Wind Quintet" at a concert for alternative music. The first published work by Kim Helweg, HVIDHEDEN OG STILHEDEN (The Whiteness and the Silence) from 1975, shows clearly which composers have influenced his formative years - namely John Cage and Penderecki. The composition is a blank page - has no duration, no instrumentation and no indication that tells us whether it is supposed to be regarded as a piece of music, a poem or anything else. Other pages came soon after, using "graphic notation" to be conceived freely as pictures of music or music of pictures. A "Tabular Rasa" as it might be and at the same time a very early musical turning point.
The blank Page was followed by "real heavy sound". A chance encounter with American fusion-music drastically altered his course and led to an extended period of jazz/rock compositions culminating in two jazz/rock symphonies and the rock-operas Ulysses (1982) and Black Mass (1983).Compositions that connected the idioms of jazz and rock with contemporary classical composition technique. In 1985 and 1988 Kim Helweg won the 1st prize for compositions made for The Danish Radio Concert Orchestra.
In 1986 his anti-musical" The Kreutzer Sonata" (based on Tolstoy and Beethoven) - with both music and lyrics by Kim Helweg - won the 3rd prize at the European Broadcast Union competition in Monaco after loud protests from the Italian and French jury, who wanted the work awarded with the 1st prize due to its originality.
Since 1988 Kim Helweg has chiefly composed for classical ensembles, but still with a visible jazz/rock influence. The included element of improvisation which was previously left open for the musicians to create was now replaced by written music very often based on a serial row and micro rhythms. From this period the works Interference in the version for the Royal Danish Brass, Variations on Chick Corea's LA FIESTA performed by Thorson & Thurber Duo, and the America Fantasy for Safri Duo all achieved important international recognition.
Front cover graphics: Sune Kliborg Lynge (Kliborg Design)
Photo: Henrik Stenberg
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
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