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Ludwig van Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen
Ludwig van Beethoven / Ludwig van Beethoven
András Schiff

Ludwig van Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen

CD | ECM NEW Series | 0028948104468 | ECM 4810446 | 09-13

€ 28.95 Add to cart
About the album

András Schiff has followed up his prize-winning complete set of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas for ECM with a recording of the Diabelli Variations that is remarkable in many ways.

First, this Hungarian pianist combines the colossal variations with two other major late works from Beethoven's pianistic oeuvre: the Sonata op. 111 and the Bagatelles op. 126 (the former having concluded of course his traversal of the complete Sonatas for ECM). This new recording impressively draws attention to these works’ intrinsic ties to the Diabelli Variations. The Arietta theme in op. 111 and Diabelli's waltz are both set in C major in triple meter, and both begin with an upbeat. Still more striking are the identical intervals that define both themes: the descending 4th from C to G, and the descending 5th from D to G. Further, the bagatelles are far removed from what their title might seem to imply: they are Beethoven's final utterances on his preferred instrument. András Schiff has referred to them as aphorisms,as poetic as they are profound, and even calls the Fourth Bagatelle 'an almost demonic piece of astonishing modernity'.

But the recordings are remarkable for other reasons, too. Rather than using a modern Steinway, András Schiff has recorded them in two different versions on two period instruments. CD 1 (op. 111 and the Diabelli Variations) on an original Bechstein grand from 1921, the instrument preferred by Wilhelm Backhaus and Artur Schnabel, and one in which András Schiff sees an almost forgotten sound-ideal. CD 2 (a second reading of the Diabelli Variations and the op. 126 Bagatelles) is recorded on a Hammerflügel fortepiano from Beethoven's own day which, with its extraordinary extra pedals, reveals the full rich panoply of the composer's sonic universe. This gives listeners a unique opportunity to compare these highly contrasting sonic universes with their rich range of sound, so very different from the balanced, disengaged sound of a modern day instrument.

Finally, András Schiff has been able to consult Beethoven's previously unknown original manuscript of the variations for his recording. Thanks to his initiative and support, this manuscript has been preserved among the holdings of the Bonn Beethoven House since 2009. More than any other source, it sheds light on the compositional process, with Beethoven's penmanship and writing speed offering subtle hints as to crescendos, tempos and arcs of tension. Not only does this source provide insight into the composer's workshop, it also forms an invaluable bridge to Beethoven's intentions.

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The recording quality is truly excellent and all in all, this release is a wholly admirable achievement
Record Review
Tracklisting
    • 1
      Sonata No. 32 c-minor op. 111
      Maestoso – Allegro con brio ed appassionato
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 2
      Sonata No. 32 c-minor op. 111
      Arietta. Adagio molto et cantabile
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 3
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Thema. Vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 4
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. I Alla marcia maestoso
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 5
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. II Poco allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 6
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. III L’istesso tempo
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 7
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. IV Un poco più vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 8
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. V Allegro vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 9
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. VI Allegro ma non troppo e serioso
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 10
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.VII Un poco più allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 11
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. VIII Poco vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 12
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. IX Allegro pesante e risoluto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 13
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. X Presto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 14
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XI Allegretto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 15
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XII Un poco più moto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 16
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XIII Vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 17
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XIV Grave e maestoso
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 18
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XV Presto scherzando
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 19
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XVI Allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 20
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XVII
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 21
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XVIII Poco moderato
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 22
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XIX Presto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 23
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XX Andante
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 24
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXI Allegro con brio
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 25
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXII Allegro molto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 26
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXIII Allegro assai
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 27
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXIV Fughetta. Andante
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 28
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXV Allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 29
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXVI
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 30
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXVII Vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 31
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXVIII Allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 32
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXIX Adagio ma non troppo
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 33
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXX Andante, sempre cantabile
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 34
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXXI Largo molto, espressivo
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 35
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXXII Fuga. Allegro – Poco adagio
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 36
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXXIII Tempo di Menuetto moderato
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 1
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Thema. Vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 2
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. I Alla marcia maestoso
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 3
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. II Poco allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 4
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. III L’istesso tempo
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 5
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. IV Un poco più vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 6
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. V Allegro vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 7
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. VI Allegro ma non troppo e serioso
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 8
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.VII Un poco più allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 9
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. VIII Poco vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 10
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. IX Allegro pesante e risoluto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 11
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. X Presto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 12
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XI Allegretto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 13
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XII Un poco più moto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 14
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XIII Vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 15
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XIV Grave e maestoso
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 16
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XV Presto scherzando
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 17
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XVI Allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 18
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XVII
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 19
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XVIII Poco moderato
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 20
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XIX Presto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 21
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XX Andante
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 22
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXI Allegro con brio
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 23
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXII Allegro molto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 24
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXIII Allegro assai
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 25
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXIV Fughetta. Andante
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 26
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXV Allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 27
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXVI
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 28
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXVII Vivace
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 29
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var. XXVIII Allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 30
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXIX Adagio ma non troppo
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 31
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXX Andante, sempre cantabile
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 32
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXXI Largo molto, espressivo
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 33
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXXII Fuga. Allegro – Poco adagio
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 34
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Var.XXXIII Tempo di Menuetto moderato
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 35
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Andante con moto cantabile e compiacevole
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 36
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Allegro
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 37
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Andante cantabile e grazioso
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 38
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Presto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 39
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Quasi Allegretto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
    • 40
      Diabelli-Variationen op. 120
      Presto – Andante amabile e con moto
       
      Composer: Beethoven, Ludwig van , Ludwig van Beethoven
18-03-2014 ECM 4810446 - Ludwig van Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen - András Schiff - Record Review
01-03-2014 ECM 4810446 - Ludwig van Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen - András Schiff - Pizzicatio
01-03-2014 ECM 4810446 - Ludwig van Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen - András Schiff - Pizzicato
03-02-2014 ECM 4810446 - Ludwig van Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen - András Schiff, Luister
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