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Liszt left many different types of variations in his own compositions, arrangements and revision collections. Among them, the collections of works by Weber and Schubert published by Cotta, works by Smetana, Tausig, Raff, and Rubinstein, and variations and ossia written for his pupils are worth mentioning. This month, Muse Press publishes Liszt’s Variations, written for the last movement of Frederic Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 3. They were reportedly written for Olga Janina, a student of Liszt’s.
Liszt wrote the variant very wisely and logically when one looks at the entire Finale. This movement, which is in the form of a rondo, begins in thirds in 6/8 time signature. The reappearance of the theme shows the left hand in quartos (polyrhythm) and subsequently in sixteenths, i.e. again steadily, regularly. On the other hand, the Liszt variant goes further and introduces quintuplets instead of sixteenths, which yield a polyrhythmic pattern, followed by triplet regularity with left hand leaps and naturally enhances the expression and strength of the Finale.
― from foreword by Tomasz Kamieniak