Title : Brad Mehldau & Orpheus Chamber – Variations on a Melancholy Theme. Format : CD. Label : Nonesuch. Barcode : 0075597916508
Release Date : June 11th 2021
The recording of Brad Mehldau’s ‘Variations on a Melancholy Theme’ features the pianist/composer and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, who commissioned this orchestral version of the work, which comprises a theme and eleven variations plus a cadenza and postlude; the album also includes an encore, ‘Variations ‘X’ and ‘Y”. Mehldau originally composed ‘Variations on a Melancholy Theme’ for pianist Kirill Gerstein. Mehldau and Orpheus toured Europe, Russia, and the US with the piece, including a 2013 performance at Carnegie Hall. Speaking to the combination of classical form with jazz harmonies in the work’s musical language, Mehldau wrote, ‘I imagine it as if Brahms woke up one day and had the blues’.