Vintage variations written for the organist Carson Cooman
and his trumpet playing brother.
The main theme is based on my song “Wine and water”
(on a satirical poem by G K Chesterton)
and the variations are named:
All at sea
Waltz of the Bishops
Description by JESSE W. HEETLAND
Solomons’ Vintage Variations is a theme and four
variations based on the composer’s setting of the poem
“Wine and Water” by G.K. Chesterton.
Each variation has a title inspired by passages of this poem.
The work features tonal harmonies
throughout and follows common theme and variation techniques,
including change of
meter, texture, and harmonization.
The theme is clearly present throughout the work.
The 24-measure-long theme in A Aeolian and 6/8 meter
is presented by the
trumpet alone, and is reminiscient of a sea shanty.
The first variation, “All at Sea,” is in
C minor and 4/4 meter, and features the organ
playing sixteenth-note scalar figures over
a descending bass line while the trumpet performs
occasional brief punctuations derived
from the theme.
The second variation, “The Bishop’s Waltz,”
is in E minor and 3/4 meter, and is
performed by organ alone.
Here the theme appears in the pedal accompanied by
extended tertian block chords in the manuals.
“Tango Calypso,” the third variation,
is in D minor and features the rhythm
3 3 2 and its subdivisions in 4/4 meter,
with a harmonization similar to the second
The final variation, “Noah’s Dance,”
returns to the 6/8 meter of the original
theme and is in G minor. Here both instruments
present florid scalar passages amid
motives taken from previous variations.
Although the tempo of this variation is marked
quaver =100, performing at a tempo of
dotted crotchet =100 will be more likely
to result in the intended
This latter tempo was used to calculate the total playing time.
Challenges for the trumpeter include frequent octave leaps,
flutter-tonguing, and a “drunken glissando”
in the initial presentation of the theme.
The non-continuous, sectional nature of this work
permits it to be shortened as required by ceremonial
considerations by leaving out one or more variations.