The Tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in Classical Music

In my last blog post I talked about how the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star was originally from France. Mozart was the first composer to set the tune to a classical piece of music in his 12 Variations (K. 265). It was written in 1781-82. Mozart weaves the tune throughout the 12 movements.

Recently, Gerard Raiti at Disney sent me a disc of Variations on a Nursery Tune by Ernő Dohnányi. This is another classical piece that plays with the Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star tune. Dohnányi’s Variations is much more complex than Mozart’s. It refers to several other classical works, including pieces by Brahms, Wagner, and Debussy. There are 13 variations. You might have to listen through this piece several times to start getting a handle on all of its nuances.

Here’s a link that gives an outline of the Variations.


Many thanks to Gerard Raiti for introducing me to the Variations on a Nursery Tune by Ernő Dohnányi!

This article was posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 at 12:48 pm and is filed under Ah! Vous dirai-je Maman, American Kids Songs, Australia, British Children's Songs, Canada, Children's Songs, Classical Music, Countries & Cultures, Ernő Dohnányi, France, French Kids Songs, Mozart, Music, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, United Kingdom, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses to “The Tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in Classical Music”

  1. Lawrence J Lemer Says:

    I would like to invite you to a new group I started to discuss Erno Dohnanyi. My hope is to unite ordinary listeners with conductors, players, etc, all of whom love this underappreciated composer.

  2. Lawrence J Lemer Says:

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