"Variation Suite" is a three-movement work, each movement based on the same simple melodic fragment heard in the opening six notes of the first movement, "Intrada and Chorale." Each of the three movements is a personal tribute to a composer who played an important part in Mr. Boo's early musical development. The melodic and harmonic treatment of "Intrada and Chorale" was inspired by the music of Clifton Williams, who prolifically wrote for symphonic bands from the 1940's through the mid-1970's. The second movement, "Serenade," is a ballad influenced by the harmonies of French Impressionistic composer Erik Satie, in particular, the three movements of Satie's 3/4 "Gymnopodies" for piano that were Mr. Boo's favorite keyboard study pieces. The third movement, "Dramatique," (emphasis on the last syllable) is homage to the contemporary sounds of symphonic band composer Vaclav Nelybel, whose intensely percussive works for band brought a new level of excitement to the idiom. "Variation Suite" was originally dedicated to Victor W. Zajec, professor and Conductor Emeritus of VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, the composer's alma mater. The score of the three movements was delivered to him a few weeks before his tragic passing. "Variation Suite" has been rededicated to the memory of Victor W. Zajec.
- Composer: Michael Boo