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Beethoven: Diabelli Variations / Alfred Brendel


Release Date: 01/26/1990 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 426232   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Alfred Brendel
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 53 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Brendel has now recorded the work three times for the gramophone. At first, on Vox/Turnabout in the early 1960s, he was the brilliant iconoclast before his deeper realization of the work's essentially comic energies. And here I use 'comic' both in the narrow sense of the term (the Diabe/li is, after all, full ofjokes, many of them with the staying-power of the finest Wildean epigrams) and in the broader sense: what Susanne Langer has called, comedy "as an image of human vitality holding its own in the world amid the surprises of unplanned coincidence". In this respect, Brendel's live 1977 recording of the work, made by Philips in collaboration with the BBC and reissued on CD in 1987 (though since deleted), is still something of a Read more landmark. The piano itself may sound a trifle battle-weary by the end, but the performance is a tour de force, a finely thought out reading seemingly improvised into life with astonishing fire and intellectual acumen; there are even times when the timing of the pauses between variations is a source of both wonderment and tension, something you never get in an edited-down studio recording. By contrast, the new recording made in the studio in 1988 is a calmer affair and here I am not talking about tempos but about the general mood. We are off the hustings and back in the study. I couldn't resist playing the two recordings side by side at various points, though since each performance has an organic life of its own, this is a largely worthless procedure. That said, I prefer the paciness of the live reading of the astonishing Var. 10, music of "dippy ecstasy" (Wilfred Mellers's phrase) after the Allegro pesante e risoluto of Var. 9. The newest recording is more measured as befits a reading that works its way slightly more circumspectly to the newly poised expressiveness of the final variations, the concluding Minuet now an even more sophisticated essay in sublime gracefulness.

-- Gramophone [8/1990]
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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:  Alfred Brendel (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1819-1823; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 11/1988 
Venue:  London 
Length: 52 Minutes 36 Secs. 

Sound Samples

33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Tema (Vivace) - Variation I (Alla marcia maestoso)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation II (Poco allegro)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation III (L'istesso tempo)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation IV (Un poco più vivace)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation V (Allegro vivace)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation VI (Allegro ma non troppo e serioso)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation VII (Un poco più allegro)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation VIII (Poco vivace)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation IX (Allegro pesante e risoluto)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation X (Presto)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XI (Allegretto)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XII (Un poco più moto)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XIII (Vivace)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XIV (Grave e maestoso)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XV (Presto scherzando)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XVI (Allegro)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XVII (Allegro)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XVIII (Poco moderato)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XIX (Presto)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XX (Andante)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXI (Allegro con brio - Meno allegro - Tempo I)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXII (Allegro molto): Alla "Notte e giorno faticar" di Mozart
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXIII (Allegro assai)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXIV: Fughetta (Andante)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXV (Allegro)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXVI (Piacevole)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXVII (Vivace)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXVIII (Allegro)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXIX (Adagio ma non troppo)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXX (Andante, sempre cantabile)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXXI (Largo, molto espressivo)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXXII: Fuga (Allegro - Poco adagio)
33 Piano Variations in C, Op.120 on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli: Variation XXXIII (Tempo di minuetto moderato, ma non tirarsi dietro)

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