Peter Orth

Diabelli Varations

Price: € 12.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917263428
Catnr: CC 72634
Release date: 15 April 2014
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917263428
Catalogue number
CC 72634
Release date
15 April 2014

"In every variation Peter Orth lets us feel the unbelievable menatl powers that drove Beethoven to create this beacon of his own power. He carries out a Sisyphean challenge and creates in us a new respect for the "speed" of the object."

Musik und Theater, 10-11-2014
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Artist(s)
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About the album

33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli, Beethoven’s last great composition for the piano: in 1819, the publisher sent a sheet to fifty personalities on the Vienna music scene, his composition of a German dance (predecessor of the Vienna Waltz), and requested they compose a variation. The theme seemed to fascinate Beethoven, because instead of contributing the desired, small contribution to
the collection of musical curios he immediately got to work, plumbed the depths of all his skills as a composer – and had soon finished 23 variations. Out of Diabelli’s waltz Beethoven created his own musical kaleidoscope, and like the head of Janus it points two ways, both to the past, and to the ways open in the future to the formation of music.

We can hear a fughetta that recalls Beethoven’s own remark: “This shouldn’t be called Bach, but ocean!”; and an Allegro molto alla “Notte e giorno faticar” di Mozart gives us an idea of the wild dance Figaro planned to perform with his lordship the Count. A Notturno offers prospects into Romantic piano music, and we even hear the freely floating harmonies of Claude Debussy resonating as foreshadows of the future.

At the end of his mighty composition, Beethoven includes two acts of homage to the previous century - he himself came from its last third: at first we hear a grandiose fugue, which could have represented the crowning pinnacle of the monument. But the Diabelli Variations actually ends with a minuet, the dance of the Ancien Régime with the tempo mark Tempo di Menuetto moderato and ending in a spaciously composed Coda – like a melancholy reminiscence of past times.

Peter Orth:
The story of how this recording came to be is long and must start with the good fortune I had to become a pupil of Rudolf Serkin in 1978 and gain entrance into his musical atmosphere. Beethoven’s Diabelli variations was a staple of his repertoire. We discussed on several occasions that it might be a piece for me. My confrontation with his playing of the piece planted a seed that took 20 years to take root.
Beethovens laatste meesterwerk voor piano
Beethovens laatste meesterwerk voor piano: variaties op een wals van Anton Diabelli. In 1819 stuurde Diabelli zijn compositie van de Duitse Danse, de voorganger van de Weense Wals, naar zo'n 50 componisten in Wenen en vroeg hen elk één variatie te schrijven. De melodie fascineerde Beethoven zo dat hij besloot niet de kleine gevraagde bijdrage te leveren, maar in plaats daarvan zelf een grote serie variaties te componeren. Het resultaat is een reeks van 33 uiteenlopende stukken waarin telkens de oorspronkelijke melodie terug te horen is. Beethoven creëerde zo zijn eigen muzikale caleidoscoop waarin hij zowel terugkijkt op eerdere muzikale stijlen als openingen biedt voor de toekomst van muziek.
Onder de variaties horen we een fughetta die doet denken aan Beethovens eigen compositiestijl voor piano. We horen Allegro molto alla Notte e giorno faticar di Mozart, die doet denken aan de wilde dans van Figaro uit Mozarts opera. Ook horen we vooruitzichten op de romantiek in een Notturno. In enkele variaties zijn zelfs al open harmonieën te horen die doen denken aan de werken van Claude Debussy. Aan het eind van de grote compositie voegt Beethoven nog twee hommages toe aan de voorafgaande eeuw met een grandioze fuga en een intiem menuet.

De pianomuziek wordt uitgevoerd door Peter Orth. Orth won in 1979 de Naumburg International Piano Competition, wat hem een enorme sprong gaf in de internationale muziekwereld. Orth was toen een student onder Rudolf Serkin, die bekend stond om zijn geweldige uitvoeringen van deze variaties. 20 jaar later neemt Orth de variaties zelf op en drukt zo zijn stempel op misschien wel de meest bijzondere variatieserie die er is.
Diabelli-Variationen mit dem amerikanischen Pianisten Peter Orth.

Peter Orth, geboren in Philadelphia, USA, wurde nach Abschluss seines Studiums bei Adele Marcus an der Juilliard School, New York, wurde er von Rudolf Serkin zum berühmten „Marlboro Music Festival“ nach Vermont eingeladen. Serkin bot dem Nachwuchspianisten an, künftig privat mit ihm zu arbeiten.

Der 1. Preis des Internationalen Klavierwettbewerbs von Naumburg, 1979, in Andenken an William Kapell, markierte den Beginn der internationalen Karriere von Peter Orth. Es folgten zahlreiche Auszeichnungen, u.a. der Shura-Cherkassky-Preis, von der ‚92 Street Y’-Gesellschaft in New York vergeben sowie der Fanny Peabody Mason Award in Boston.

Seit 1991 lebt Peter Orth in Deutschland. In Europa konzertierte er in Rom, der Wigmore Hall London und dem Concertgebouw Amsterdam. In Deutschland erlebte man ihn beim Klavierfestival Ruhr und der EXPO 2000 in Hannover und im Rahmen des Internationalen Oleg Kagan Musikfestes Kreuth.

Peter Orth unterrichtet seit April 2010 als Professor Klavier und Kammermusik an der Hochschule für Musik in Detmold.
Zur vorliegenden Aufnahme schreibt Peter Orth: „Um zu erklären, wie es zu dieser Aufnahme gekommen ist, muss ich etwas weiter
ausholen. Die Geschichte fängt nämlich im Grunde 1978 an, als ich das Glück hatte, von Rudolf Serkin als Schüler angenommen zu werden und in seine musikalische Welt Eintritt zu erhalten. Zu den Werken, die Serkin regelmäßig aufführte, gehörten Beethovens Diabelli-Variationen. Wir diskutierten mehrmals, dass es ein Werk für mich sein könnte. Meine Begegnung mit seiner Interpretation des Werks hatte in mir einen Keim gesät, der 20 Jahre später Früchte trug. Kurz nachdem ich 1992 nach Köln gezogen war, machte mir mein Freund, der Klavierbauer Dietmar Falke, der übrigens für alle technischen Aspekte der vorliegenden Aufnahme verantwortlich ist, den Vorschlag, die Diabelli-Variationen einzustudieren. Aber erst jetzt habe ich es gewagt!“

Artist(s)

First Prize in the 1979 Naumburg International Piano Competition, held in memory of William Kapell, catapulted Peter Orth into the American musical mainstream with a highly acclaimed recital debut in Alice Tully Hall. Not long afterwards he was awarded the Shura Cherkassky Prize by the 92nd Street Y in New York and the Fanny Peabody Mason Award in Boston. Since that time, he has been heard as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, as well as the orchestras of Detroit, Montreal, Pittsburgh, and Saint Louis. Recently he has performed with such European orchestras as the Residentie Orkest Den Haag, the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Nord Deutsche Philharmonie. In February 2010, he gave a solo recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

His recent recital at Alice Tully Hall was greeted by three standing ovations and praise in both the The New York Times and The New York Sun. This success brought Orth back to New York to Zankel Hall for another recital in October of 2007. Writing in the New York Times, Anthony Tommasini spoke about the tenderness and fervor of his playing, describing it as “...one long arc of inspiration.” In The New York Sun, Fred Kirshnit commented that “... the experience seemed like one continuous essay in profundity ….a commanding presence…..for sheer excitement, he is difficult to surpass.”

Mr. Orth has played under conductors Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, James Conlon, Leonard Slatkin and Aldo Ceccato, performing in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and the Pasadena Ambassador Auditorium. Peter Orth has also visited the well-known festivals of Marlboro, Ravinia, Caramoor, Aspen, Bad Kissingen and Kuhmo/Finland. He returned to Siena for four performances of the Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto with the State Orchestra of the Ukraine. His recent performance of the work with the Rostock Philharmonie was described by Musical America as a “technically and musically impressive performance of the cruelly difficult Brahms Second Piano Concerto.” In 2004, he was presented in recital by Steinway and Sons in New York and presented with a gold medal in honor of Steinway’s 150th birthday.

Besides his activities as a soloist, Peter Orth has a close artistic relationship with the Auryn Quartet with whom he tours the major European musical centers. With the Auryn Quartet and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, he recently performed Schoenberg’s Ode to Napoleon. He has also made several tours with Music from Marlboro.

Peter Orth began his studies in Philadelphia with Benjamin Whitten. At the Juilliard School where he was a student of Adele Marcus, Orth was the first recipient of the prestigious Petschek Award. After graduation he received an invitation from Rudolf Serkin to participate at the Marlboro Festival and a subsequent offer to study privately at the maestro’s Institute For Young Performing Musicians in Guilford, Vermont. Later Orth encountered Sergiu Celibidache in Germany, for whom he played much of his repertoire. In Boston he coached for several years with Paul Doguereau who knew Ravel and had studied with Egon Petri and Emil von Sauer.

Since moving to Cologne in 1992, Mr. Orth’s European reputation has grown apace by appearing in such distinguished venues as Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, London's Wigmore Hall, and the Klavier Festival Ruhr in Germany. He maintains a special relationship with Italy where he plays regularly. He conducted two concertos from the keyboard with the Orchestra of the Ukraine at Tignano Castle outside Florence where he has been the director of Friends of Music at Tignano. He was re-invited for the 2009 annual Incontri Internazionali di Musica da Camera in Este founded by the Auryn Quartet where, besides playing a solo recital, he collaborates in chamber music performances.

Peter Orth can be heard on three compact discs: the two Piano Quintets of Gabriel Fauré with the Auryn String Quartet on the CPO label which was awarded Best Chamber Music recording 1998 by London's CD Classic magazine, a Brahms/Schumann album, and a Brahms album that includes the F Minor Piano Quintet and the Handel Variations, released in 2003 on the Tacet label. In Alfred Beaujean’s STEREOPLAY review, Orth’s playing of Brahms’ Handel Variations was praised for a “rich tonal palette greater than the Deutsche Gramophone recording of the same work by Daniel Barenboim.” Orth’s recording of the Schumann Quintet and Quartet with the Auryns has received the Best Classical Recording Award from STEREOPLAY for March 2010.

He has been appointed Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the Hochschule for Music in Detmold, Germany

Composer(s)

Press

In every variation Peter Orth lets us feel the unbelievable menatl powers that drove Beethoven to create this beacon of his own power. He carries out a Sisyphean challenge and creates in us a new respect for the "speed" of the object.
Musik und Theater, 10-11-2014

You keep listening and re-listening - always a good sign - and hear almost ragtime in Beethoven ... thanks to daring rubato, surprising speed and a variety of musical "jokes" that Beethoven would have been very happy with in the first place.
Klassiek Centraal, 23-4-2014

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