A note on “2 Chorales by 50 notes and 3 Variations by 50 bars”

Tsutomu Mizuno

    A piece based on the number “50.” When I heard that the Viola da Gamba Society of America was gathering music related to number 50 for its 50th anniversary, such as a piece of 50 seconds duration, I was so interested in the idea that I thought I would give it a try myself.

    As I began working on it, I realized how enjoyable it was to think how the number could be used. I knew somebody else had already done 50 seconds duration; 50 minute long piece would be too long, and I don’t like to even think of 50 voices, or it will be too challenging to make 50 pieces. Finally I decided to work with 4 voices and 50 notes.

    After thinking up a tune I began writing, carefully counting the number of notes (notes connected with a tie are counted as one note). Noticing the chorale being too short, I added the second chorale. That was when I changed my original plan and decided to make it a chorale variation. As I was writing the second variation, another idea popped up in my mind and I made it “50 bars” long, and managed to finish my work. Finally I thought of giving another meaning to this piece:the first chorale is for the past 50 years and the second chorale is for the coming 50 years. Variations signify many interesting changes and new developments in the future.

    I will be very happy if many viol players enjoy this music for this coming long night season.

VdGSJ NEWS No.146 (September, 2012)
© 2012 by Tsutom Mizuno