Five Variations on the Brugg Song
commissioned by the Aargau and Waadtland Music Associations (Switzerland) with
financial support from the town of Brugg and the City Pharmacy, Brugg (Dr. M & B
Kuhn) as the test piece the Aargau and Waadtland Cantonal Music Festivals held
in May and June 2003. It was composed simultaneously for concert band, brass
band and fanfare band for use in all three divisions.
It is a set of five
variations of on the ‘Brugger Lied’ (Brugg Song) which is the traditional song
of the town of Brugg. The lyrics tell of the geography, people and traditions of
this charming and historic town, which is situated in the north of Switzerland,
near to the German border, about halfway between Basel and Zurich.
The variations are based on
tiny extracts of the theme, the whole piece therefore resembling the effect of a
kaleidoscope, which juxtaposes small fragments of colour in a constantly
The introduction is
inspired by the many rising intervals which start phrases within the song, and
the main theme is then introduced.
Variation 1 is based on the
dotted rhythm which permeates the song. The short interlude which is Variation 2
plays on the interval of a seventh midway through the song. Variation 3 uses a
waltz-like theme with a central theme derived from the rising third figure.
Variation 4, a slow ballad, is once again based on the opening bar. The finale,
Variation 5, starts with a moto perpetuo . Later, a contrasting
theme briefly interrupts, but the moto perpetuo returns, eventually
acting as a descant to the reintroduction of the Brugg Song in its entirety. A
short Coda recalls material from Variation 1 before bringing the piece crashing
to a close.