Saturday, 17 January 2009

232. Ludwig van Beethoven - Diabelli Variations (1823)


Title: Diabelli Variations
Performers: Piotr Anderszewski
Year: 2000
Length: 1 hour


The last great set of variations we've had here was all the way back with Bach and his Goldberg Variations. An equally essential set, some would argue more essential, is this one by Beethoven.

The Diabelli variations are endlessly inventive transmogrifications of a quite trite piece by Mr. Diabelli. The variations based on crap pieces are always the best because they just show off the brilliance of the composer when compared to his source to a great extent.

Beethoven gives a master class of piano composition throughout this. If you know how to play the piano, which I don't, I can only imagine how educative these are, they were for me. Beethoven never loses the sight of making some great music and these mostly short variations are each a little treasure. Highly Recommended.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

The distinguished music writer Donald Francis Tovey has called it "the greatest set of variations ever written." Pianist Alfred Brendel has described it as simply "the greatest of all piano works." It also comprises, in the words of Hans von Bülow, "a microcosm of Beethoven's art." Or, as Martin Cooper writes in Beethoven: The Last Decade 1817 - 1827, "The variety of treatment is almost without parallel, so that the work represents a book of advanced studies in Beethoven's manner of expression and his use of the keyboard, as well as a monumental work in its own right."

Theme and variations I to VI:

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