Variations on Eva’s Polka

Variations on Eva’s Polka


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Variations on Eva’s Polka
Variations on Eva’s Polka – Moscow performance

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‘Ievvan Polkka’ or ‘Ievan Polokka’ is a traditional Finnish tune, which had words added in the 1930’s. As with all folk tunes its origin is swathed in mystery and conjecture, but it seems to come from the Viipuri province of Finland which borders Russia; a similar tune is also known in the western regions of Russia suggesting a degree of cross over beween the two areas. Its first mentioned in 17th century texts; however the Polka style did not develop till much later so this tune has obviously been adapted and modified over the years. Despite its popularity during World War 2 the song was almost forgotten in the 1970’s and 1980’s, before coming back to the fore with various covers by Finnish and even Japanese artists.
The tune is passed around all parts with great variety; from anxious, energetic repeated semiquavers to stately augmentation in the lower flute parts. Chromatic slides characterise one variation, and later on there is a jazz influenced section where the first flute and piccolo trade solos in an improvised style. The arranger has made one section more colourful and exciting by adding a part for blown bottles tuned by the addition of water.

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