Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen

ECM: 4810446

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Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen

Awards:

Gramophone Awards 2014

Shortlisted - Instrumental

Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - December 2013

Building a Library

Also Recommended - June 2017

Label:

ECM

Catalogue No:

4810446

Series:

New Series

Discs:

2

Release date:

23rd Sept 2013

Barcode:

0028948104468

Length:

2 hours 28 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Beethoven: Diabelli-Variationen


Beethoven:

Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111

Diabelli Variations, Op. 120

Bagatelles (6), Op. 126


CD - 2 discs

$25.50

(also available to download from $11.75)

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Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations are considered a magnum opus of the piano repertoire, a towering contribution to the genre and an entire encyclopaedia of pianism. Following his monumental exploration of the 32 Sonatas, András Schiff has recorded - on two period instruments - remarkable, contrasting versions of the Diabelli Variations alongside major late works with intrinsic ties to them.

The Sonata Op. 111 and the Diabelli Variations (CD 1) are played on an original Bechstein grand from 1921, and the second reading of the Diabelli Variations (paired with the Six Bagatelles, Op. 126 on CD 2) on a Hammerflügel fortepiano from Beethoven’s own day.

This gives listeners a unique opportunity to compare the rich range of these highly contrasting sonic universes, a world apart from modern day instruments. The first is a studio recording from Lugano in December 2012, while the fortepiano version was recorded at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn in July of the same year. In his liner note András Schiff acknowledges the value of having been able to consult the previously unknown original manuscript of the Variations which provided invaluable insight into Beethoven’s compositional process - with his penmanship and writing speed offering subtle hints as to crescendos, tempos and arcs of tension - and intentions.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.32 In C Minor, Op.111

1. Maestoso - Allegro con brio ed appassionato

2. Arietta (Adagio molto semplice e cantabile)

Ludwig van Beethoven: 33 Piano Variations In C, Op.120 On A Waltz By Anton Diabelli

Thema. Vivace

Variation 1 (Alla marcia maestoso)

Variation 2 (Poco allegro)

Variation 3 (L'istesso tempo)

Variation 4 (Un poco più vivace)

Variation 5 (Allegro vivace)

Variation 6 (Allegro ma non troppo e serioso)

Variation 7 (Un poco più allegro)

Variation 8 (Poco vivace)

Variation 9 (Allegro pesante e risoluto)

Variation 10 (Presto)

Variation 11 (Allegretto)

Variation 12 (Un poco più moto)

Variation 13 (Vivace)

Variation 14 (Grave e maestoso)

Variation 15 (Presto scherzando)

Variation 16 (Allegro)

Variation 17

Variation 18 (Poco moderato)

Variation 19 (Presto)

Variation 20 (Andante)

Variation 21 (Allegro con brio - Meno allegro - Tempo I)

Variation 22 (Allegro molto): Alla "Notte e giorno faticar" di Mozart

Variation 23 (Allegro assai)

Variation 24 (Fughetta. Andante)

Variation 25 (Allegro)

Variation 26

Variation 27 (Vivace)

Variation 28 (Allegro)

Variation 29 (Adagio ma non troppo)

Variation 30 (Andante, sempre cantabile)

Variation 31 (Largo, molto espressivo)

Variation 32 (Fuga. Allegro - Poco adagio)

Variation 33 (Tempo di minuetto moderato, ma non tirarsi dietro)

Thema. Vivace

Variation 1 (Alla marcia maestoso)

Variation 2 (Poco allegro)

Variation 3 (L'istesso tempo)

Variation 4 (Un poco più vivace)

Variation 5 (Allegro vivace)

Variation 6 (Allegro ma non troppo e serioso)

Variation 7 (Un poco più allegro)

Variation 8 (Poco vivace)

Variation 9 (Allegro pesante e risoluto)

Variation 10 (Presto)

Variation 11 (Allegretto)

Variation 12 (Un poco più moto)

Variation 13 (Vivace)

Variation 14 (Grave e maestoso)

Variation 15 (Presto scherzando)

Variation 16 (Allegro)

Variation 17

Variation 18 (Poco moderato)

Variation 19 (Presto)

Variation 20 (Andante)

Variation 21 (Allegro con brio - Meno allegro - Tempo I)

Variation 22 (Allegro molto): Alla "Notte e giorno faticar" di Mozart

Variation 23 (Allegro assai)

Variation 24 (Fughetta. Andante)

Variation 25 (Allegro)

Variation 26

Variation 27 (Vivace)

Variation 28 (Allegro)

Variation 29 (Adagio ma non troppo)

Variation 30 (Andante, sempre cantabile)

Variation 31 (Largo, molto espressivo)

Variation 32 (Fuga. Allegro - Poco adagio)

Variation 33 (Tempo di minuetto moderato, ma non tirarsi dietro)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 1. In G Andante Con Moto

Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 1. In G Andante Con Moto

Ludwig van Beethoven: Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 2. In G Minor Allegro

Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 2. In G Minor Allegro

Ludwig van Beethoven: Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 3. In E Flat Andante Cantabile Egrazioso

Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 3. In E Flat Andante Cantabile Egrazioso

Ludwig van Beethoven: Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 4. In D Presto

Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 4. In D Presto

Ludwig van Beethoven: Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 5. In G Quasi Allegretto

Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 5. In G Quasi Allegretto

Ludwig van Beethoven: Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 6. In E Flat Presto - Andante Amabile E Con Moto

Bagatelle For Piano Opus 126: 6. In E Flat Presto - Andante Amabile E Con Moto

The Guardian

3rd October 2013

*****

“That performance revels in the very lack of homogeneity in the soundworld of the instrument itself, with its distinctly different character in each register...Balances and perspectives shift constantly within the music, and Schiff exploits the effects quite wonderfully...The whole world of the variations opens out”

Sunday Times

6th October 2013

“No pianist has a greater awareness of sound-colour than Andras Schiff...The Brodmann, despite its relative lack of power, offers the broader palette. The Bechstein projects with greater strength and a beguiling singing tone.”

The Independent on Sunday

27th October 2013

“Something of a beauty contest is likely to ensue when the same work is played on two different instruments, and there is a surprising overall winner...[the Variations prove] more colourful and textural on the older instrument, with all its ticks, thuds and bell-like sweetness.”

The Times

1st November 2013

****

“The differences are fascinating...Yet either piano’s textures and reverberations would mean little without Schiff’s artistry and intelligence...The Diabelli Variations have never seemed so playfully filled with irony, comic pratfalls and the wild goose chase. Whatever instrument he uses, Schiff rewards the closest listening.”

BBC Music Magazine

Christmas Issue 2013

****

“Schiff's passion for this music, and his ability to communicate it, is apparent in every bar...The two instruments he plays each have a lean tone and the interpretation of the Diabellis doesn't alter much. Played on the Bechstein, the work's close relationship to Op. 111...is obvious.”

Gramophone Magazine

December 2013

“I've been convinced of the success with which pianist and both instruments inhabit everything undertaken here. It's an impressive achievement.”

Financial Times

14th December 2013

“A feast for piano connoisseurs – played with unflinching self-belief and wrapped in demonstration-quality sound”

New York Times

13th November 2013

“The predictably penetrating, intense playing of the mighty Diabellis on this disc is to be expected from Andras Schiff, but there’s a twist: he does them twice...The result is a primer on pianism.”

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