The Variacions sobre un tema barroc were written at the request of Francisco Garcia Fullana, a great virtuoso violinist. I have known him since he was 10 years old and I have had the pleasure of making music together with him several times as an orchestra conductor. He asked me to compose a short work for violin alone, based on a baroque theme, to be included as part of a recording of contemporary authors. The other works were based on baroque composers and he wanted the album to have unity. He also asked for it to be a work of Mediterranean character, of Mallorcan roots, to be expressive, difficult, of great virtuosity, and about four minutes long.
Following Stravinsky’s phrase in his free musical Poetics that the more constraints one has, the more freedom one feels, I found a theme by the Baroque composer Antoni Lliteres and began to make a series of variations. The result is this piece (of more baroque than contemporary aesthetics) where the theme is presented, after which six variations follow, highlighting the expressive possibilities of the violin.
The first three variations are characterized by melodic ornamentation, increasingly developed and free, and in different shades (G minor, A minor and F major, respectively). The fourth variation is based on pizzicato, the fifth is slower and polyphonic with two-voice dialogue and the last one is a little longer, with great virtuosity and brilliant, bringing the piece to a spectacular end.