Donald O. Johnston - Symphonic Variations
Symphonic Variations, which could be subtitled "The Horn" due to the intense use of the horn motif throughout the composition, is basically a set of variations based upon the opening horn theme. The variation form overlays the conventional sonata-form. Contrasts are created through homophonic and canonic treatments of the thematic material. Touches ofbitonality (two keys appearing simultaneously) lend seductive charm to the harmonic atmosphere.
This movement opens slowly with the melodic "pyramiding" of perfect fifths plus the introduction of the horn theme, the basic thematic source for the entire composition.