25007 –Variation 18
'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini'
Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943)
arranged for brass band by Roger Harvey
In different generations certain themes have been fashionable as the subject of sets of variations. This theme was originally for unaccompanied violin and has served as the basis of numerous sets of variations during the later 19th and early 20th Centuries.
Rachmaninov's substantial 'Rhapsody' for piano and orchestra, from 1934, includes this wonderfully lush variation in which the tune is turned upside down and given some sentimental Romantic harmonies.
This version was made for James Watson and the Brighouse and Rastrick Band.
Make sure that the accompaniment figures in the opening section feel like one instrument; mark the notes slightly but keep the legato line moving from instrument to instrument. Allow for a little rubato in the solo line.
At A, avoid getting too loud too soon. The triplet figures should be clearly but gently played to provide a softly undulating background for the theme.
The climax comes at figure B but while aiming for a rich sound do not become aggressive; keep the accompaniment figures well balanced.