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Beethoven: Diabelli Variations / Gabriel Chodos

Beethoven / Chodos
Release Date: 02/25/2014 
Label:  Fleur De Son   Catalog #: 58017   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Gabriel Chodos
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BEETHOVEN Diabelli Variations Gabriel Chodos (pn) FLEUR DE SON 58017 (59:27)


I was excited, a few years ago, to become acquainted with this pianist’s work on CD. Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms are his bread and butter, and he approaches them not as a competition-winning showman, but as a thoughtful, intelligent, and seasoned academic. Currently, he teaches at the New England Conservatory, and his curriculum vitae lists a number of other institutions at which he has given master classes. Read more


If you like Brendel and Rudolf Serkin, you’ll probably like Chodos’s traversal of Beethoven’s monumental and mercurial set of 33 variations on Anton Diabelli’s “cobbler’s patch” of a waltz. He shares their sobriety and their intellectual depth, as well as their avoidance of self-conscious display. Chodos was a pupil of Aube Tzerko, who in turn studied with Schnabel, and one can hear a bit of Schnabel in these performances as well, although Chodos’s fingers are more dependable than Schnabel’s.


Chodos’s booklet note gives us some insight into his interpretation of this work: “It seems to me that the variation form is a metaphor of the life of an individual human being; there is constant change, but the core identity remains the same. After seemingly innumerable transformations and vicissitudes, Diabelli’s bumptious and rather vulgar waltz is finally transformed into an elegant and gracious minuet.” Chodos also describes the almost offhand ending of the work in terms of its “ambiguity,” in contrast to the nearly contemporaneous Piano Sonata No. 32, which ends in “glorious transcendence.” Even so, there’s plenty of “glorious transcendence” in Chodos’s playing of this final variation, and as this work comes to an end, one feels deeply satisfied about the journey upon which Chodos has taken us.


Chodos does not unduly emphasize the proto-boogie woogie of the 16th variation ( Allegro ), nor does he revel in technique for technique’s sake in the cascading notes of 19th ( Presto ). The 31st variation ( Largo, molto espressivo ) is played with the same kind of straightforward emotional breadth that one associates with the so-called “Black Pearl” variation in Bach’s Goldberg Variations . One might call this a “middle-of-the-road” set of the Diabelli Variations , but that is not meant to suggest routine or dullness. Chodos, like the aforementioned pianists, trusts Beethoven, and does not attempt to impose too much of his own personality on the music. This recording probably will stand the test of time.


This disc was recorded at the New England Conservatory early in 2012, and the sound, like the pianism, is honest and free of gimmickry.


FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
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Works on This Recording

1. Variations (33) for Piano on a Waltz by Diabelli in C major, Op. 120 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Gabriel Chodos (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1819-1823; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall 
Length: 52 Minutes 9 Secs. 

Sound Samples

33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Theme: Vivace
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 1: Alla Marcia, maestoso
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 2: Poco allegro
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 3: L'istesso tempo
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 4: Un poco piu vivace
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 5: Allegro vivace
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 6: Allegro ma non troppo e serioso
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 7: Un poco piu allegro
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 8: Poco vivace
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 9: Allegro pesante e risoluto
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 10: Presto
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 11: Allegretto
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 12: Un poco piu mosso
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 13: Vivace
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 14: Grave e maestoso
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 15: Presto scherzando
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 16: Allegro
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 17: (Allegro)
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 18: Poco moderato
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 19: Presto
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 20: Andante
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 21: Allegro con brio
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 22: Allegro molto
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 23: Allegro assai
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 24: Fughetta - Andante
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 25: Allegro
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 26: (Piacevole)
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 27: Vivace
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 28: Allegro
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 29: Adagio ma non troppo
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 30: Andante, sempre cantabile
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 31: Largo, molto espressivo
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 32: Fuga - Allegro
33 Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120, "Diabelli Variations": Variation 33: Tempo di Menuetto, moderato

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