"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.” – The Times
Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations are considered a magnum opus of the piano repertoire, a towering contribution to the genre and an entire Encyclopedia of pianism.
Following his monumental exploration of the 32 Sonatas, András Schiff has now 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 DiabelliRead more Variations (CD 1) are played on an original Bechstein grand from 1921, and the second reading of the Diabelli Variations, (paired with the op. 126 Bagatelles on CD 2) on a Hammerflugel 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.
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 and intentions. Read less
Meticulous ExcellenceNovember 1, 2013By M. Bishop (Clackamas, OR)See All My Reviews"This recording of Beethoven's "Diabelli Variations" by Andras Schiff is meticulous and replete with meaning. Schiff demonstrates the mastery of his keyboard craft throughout the 70-80 tracks on this album. Tracing the variations is a full-time undertaking. This is the second Andras Schiff recording that I possess, and it will certainly not be the last. I highly recommend this album to those piano purists who desire to take a satisfying, no-frills excursion with Schiff into Beethoven's art of musical expression."Report Abuse
Nice comparison from a great artist.October 23, 2013By Howard Haimes (Arlington, VA)See All My Reviews"It is always refreshing to hear music played on period instruments. The ability to hear both renditions of the Diabelli Variations gives the listener the ability to hear different tonal qualities, played nearly identically by the same artist. Andras Schiff paints color with either instrument and both are very satisfying to the listener. One can speculate about Beethoven or his contemparies heard these little masterpieces. I often reflect about the Goldberg variations played on harpsichord or on modern piano. I often play several versions of many pieces and this packaging makes this simple for the listener. I wish other selections might be packaged similarly. This is great music which should be in everyone's library. Plays have been made on the Diabelli variation and this is an excellent way to form your own opinions. Great artistry makes this both possible and eminently pleasing. Enjoy!"Report Abuse