“The theme itself has a wistful character, perhaps a feeling of resignation. There is some sense of finality and ending to it when heard for the first time already. So as I composed, a narrative challenge emerged; namely, how to embark on a story that begins with a conclusion. While the theme evokes melancholy, I let it be used as a springboard for other happy, wild, violent, and reckless emotions as the variations progress,” Brad Mehldau.
Warily ambulatory in tempo and mood and with the faded elegance of a matinee presentation at the pictures in atmosphere pianist Brad Mehldau and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's 'Theme' from Variations on a Melancholy Theme is streaming. One of 15 pieces, 11 numbered variations follow, a cadenza, postlude and piece called 'Encore' containing 'x' and 'y' named variations. Brad Mehldau, top. Photo: Nonesuch, who release the album on 11 June