Rhapsody on a Harley-Davidson

Rhapsody on a Harley-Davidson

I’m just kidding, of course.

It can’t be done on a Harley-Davidson.

But why would I say

Rhapsody on a Harley-Davidson

if it can’t be done on a motorbike?

You might have guessed, though,

that what I have in mind is the

Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini,

and the reason for the caption is this :


This is Danill Trifonov in his characteristic posture

when he is concentrating on the notes.

Notice that this posture is assumed by bikers

when they are in a hurry to get to a diner

before the rain catches up on them.

Trifonov does reflect the notion

that he is whizzing through the composition.

Well, in fact he is!


Rachmaninov composed this rhapsody by

putting up 18 variations of a theme

played by Paganini.

The 14th variation is, however, the one that tops the others.

In fact, I believe that Rachmaninov composed 17

more variations of this theme because he wanted

to showcase the 14th variation.

14th Variation.mp4

This particular theme by Paganini is made up

of about 8 notes which were introduced

in the beginning of the piece.

The 14th variation is simply the inverted notes

of the theme and excessively stretched out

to give the listener a pleasant surprise.

You will recognize the 14th variation

when suddenly you drop your horses

to listen enraptured by the music.


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