Second Paganini Variations- Boris Blacher

Even though it starts with a cheerful sounding solo-violin-part I would describe the general mood of the whole piece as mysterious or/and curious. It builds itself up as more instruments are being added, including the mentioned violin as well as other string instruments such as a cello and double bass. Furthermore, besides the use of other orchestral wind instruments ( western concert flutes, bassoons, trumpets, trombones, tubas and french horns) one can especially often hear the clarinet. One instrument that I was able to identify from the drum-instrument section were timpani.

Several times,Blacher only used a certain group or family of instruments, there are smaller parts for example, which are only (or mainly) being played by string- others by wind instruments. Structurally I noticed, that he often started with a quiet motive, which then flows over into a crescendo until it ends abruptly with a fortissimo.


I personally quite enjoyed listening to it, which surprised me, because I was counting on something that sounded more similar to Schönbergs twelve-tone-music. (I am really fascinated by the process and mathematics behind his concept, but I don’t like listening to it.) The piece sounded so incredibly diversified, that I only noticed themes and motives repeating themselves after the third or forth time of listening to it. Despite the fact, that the piece was so varied, it was still entertaining enough for me to follow it to the end.

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