Anton Diabelli

Biography

Born: September 6, 1781; Mattsee   Died: April 7, 1858; Vienna, Austria  
Anton Diabelli, a competent and very productive composer of attractive music, is best known as the author of a musical idea from which another composer made a masterpiece.

He was a choir boy in Salzburg Cathedral and is reputed to have had lessons with Michael Haydn there. Before he was 20 he wrote notable compositions, including six masses. In 1800 he joined the monastery at Raitenhaslach, Bavaria. There he might have remained, but
Read more Bavaria closed all its monasteries in 1803. He went to Vienna, where he taught piano and guitar, made arrangements, and continued to compose. He got work proofreading for a music publishing firm, which gave him knowledge of the process and business of publishing music, and continued to compose; among his works is the comic opera Adam in der Klemme (1809). In 1817 he started in business for himself, partnering the following year with a dealer named Pietro Cappi to create the firm of Cappi & Diabelli.

The partners were astute in their choices of music. Primarily, they specialized in popular music for home music making, including opera tune arrangements, dance music, collections for guitar or piano, and their most popular series, 429 volumes of the Latest Popular Comic Theater Songs.

In a masterly idea for promotion, Diabelli sent a waltz theme he had written to every important Austrian composer, inviting them to write variations on it for inclusion in a "patriotic anthology." By 1824, 50 composers had responded, and Carl Czerny wrote a coda for the set. The collection included the first published composition by the 11-year-old Franz Liszt. Franz Schubert, the Archduke Rudolf, Pixis, Moscheles, and Kalkbrenner were among the contributors. The 50-composer set of "Diabelli Variations" merits more investigation than it has received.

Yet the idea's greatest significance was that it inspired Beethoven to one of his greatest bursts of creativity. It is not known exactly why Beethoven expanded the original commission, but it seemed for a time that he could not stop writing variations on the theme; the eventual set of 33 variations, known as the Diabelli Variations, Op. 120, is one of the all-time masterpieces in the variation form. It also consigned Diabelli to the same position in music as Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who supplied the theme that Johann Sebastian Bach used in his great Goldberg Variations.

Diabelli's greatest publishing success, however, lay in recognizing the genius of Franz Schubert and bringing him into print for the first time in 1821 with the song "Erlkönig" (The Erl-King). This started a series of publications of Schubert's work. It came temporarily to an end in 1823, due to some misstep of Cappi's that caused Schubert to leave the firm. Cappi and Diabelli parted company in 1824, and the firm was renamed Anton Diabelli & Cie. It entered upon a highly profitable period in which Diabelli took care of artistic matters and his partner Anton Spina (1790 - 1857) did the business work.

The association with Schubert was reestablished posthumously: Diabelli bought a large bulk of the late composer's musical estate from his brother Ferdinand Schubert. The firm systematically and slowly published these works; as with Elvis Presley and the Beatles, "new" Schubert works were still appearing even after Diabelli's death in 1858, 30 years after their composer's death.

Diabelli retired in 1851; Spina continued to run the firm, which became the principal publisher of the music of Johann Strauss II and his brother Joseph. Read less
Diabelli: Grande Sonate Brillante / Brunner, Et Al
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 4085   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 29 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Adelaide - Beethoven And The Guitar / Izhar Elias
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94631 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Diabelli
    Performer:  Izhar Elias,  Ivan Iliev,  Fernando Cordas,  Zefira Valova
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  • 2.
    Laureate Series - Guitar / Kyuhee Park
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573225 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Anton Diabelli,  Lennox Berkeley,  Joaquin Malats  ... 
    Performer:  Kyuhee Park
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  • 3.
    Julian Bream - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546242 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Mateo Pérez de Albeniz,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  George Malcolm,  John Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Arnold,  Sir Colin Davis,  André Previn,  David Atherton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Julian Bream Consort,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Et Incarnates Est Weihnachten In St. Augustin
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 3582 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Traditional,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Ana Puche Rosado,  Jan Petryka,  Norbert Ernst,  Alexander Kaimbacher  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Rieder
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  • 5.
    Diabelli: Complete Guitar Sonatas / Claudio Giuliani
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94614 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Diabelli
    Performer:  Claudio Giuliani
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  • 6.
    Lieder Mit Und Ohne Worte /  Helene Wold, Vegard Lund
    Label: Lawo Classics   Catalog: 1011 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Louis Spohr,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Anton Diabelli  ... 
    Performer:  Vegard Lund,  Helene Wold
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  • 7.
    Beethoven, Diabelli: Guitare Et Pianoforte
    Label: Ligia   Catalog: 102119 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Diabelli
    Performer:  Carole Carniel,  Philippe Villa
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  • 8.
    Kempter, Diabelli: Pastoralmessen
    Label: Ars Musici   Catalog: 232130 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karl Kempter,  Anton Diabelli
    Performer:  Reinhold Zott,  Klaus Winkler,  Joachim Schleifer,  Ulrich Streckmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Reinhard Kammler
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  • 9.
    Notturno - Diabelli, Kreutzer, Matiegka, Etc / Consortium Classicum
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm) Gold   Catalog: 3011563 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Kreutzer,  Wenzel Thomas Matiegka,  Anton Diabelli,  Archduke Rudolph
    Performer:  Sonja Prunnbauer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Classicum
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  • 10.
    Eduardo Fernandez - Legnani, Giuliani, Sor, Diabelli, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 414160 Release Date: 01/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Diabelli,  Mauro Giuliani,  Luigi Legnani,  Niccolò Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Eduardo Fernandez
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  • 11.
    Diabelli: Soiree Musical / Helasvuo, Savijoki, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: ODE876 Release Date: 10/15/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Diabelli
    Performer:  Juoko Mansnerus,  Mikael Helasvuo,  Jukka Savijoki
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  • 12.
    Romantic Serenades - Kreutzer, Diabelli, Matiegka / Trio Kontraste
    Label: Musicaphon   Catalog: 56903 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wenzel Thomas Matiegka,  Anton Diabelli,  Joseph Kreutzer
    Performer:  Maximilian Mangold,  Christian Euler,  Stephanie Hamburger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Kontraste
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  • 13.
    After Baroque - Music For The Natural Trumpet / Seattle Trumpet Consort
    Label: Origin Classical   Catalog: 33001 Release Date: 05/20/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leopold Mozart,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Laurentius Ott  ... 
    Performer:  Kim Pineda,  Jennifer Rhyne
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Trumpet Consort
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  • 14.
    Unforgettable Hues - Diabelli, Etc / Wasserman-margolis
    Label: Leonarda   Catalog: 356 Release Date: 12/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Diabelli,  Hansjoachim Kaps,  Ernst Krähmer,  Heinrich Neumann  ... 
    Performer:  Luigi Magistrelli,  Eva Wasserman-Margolis,  Massimo Laura
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  • 15.
    Classical Masterpieces For Flute & Guitar
    Label: Cantilena   Catalog: 5637533009 Release Date: 08/28/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Mauro Giuliani,  Anton Diabelli
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  • 16.
    Diabelli: Complete Sonatines And Sonatas / Spanyi, Virta
    Label: Alba   Catalog: 142 Release Date: 08/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Diabelli
    Performer:  Miklós Spányi,  Ilkka Virta
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  • 17.
    Essen und Verwohnen
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98248 Release Date: 03/20/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Diabelli,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Antonín Dvorák,  Joaquin Rodrigo  ... 
    Performer:  Dale Kavanagh,  Silvio Dalla Torre,  Matthias Petersen,  Peter Bruns  ... 
    Conductor:  Horst-Hans Bäcker
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdi Quartet
    CD: $12.99
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  • 18.
    Diabelli: Grande Sonate Brillante / Brunner, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 4085 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Diabelli
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Brunner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburger Hofmusik
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  • 19.
    Scene  Vienna Guitar Duos / Heinrich-albert Duo
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 6031235 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ferdinando Carulli,  Anton Diabelli,  Mauro Giuliani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Heinrich Albert Guitar Duo
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  • 20.
    Kantorow & Gifford At Calke Abbey
    Label: National Trust   Catalog: 11 Release Date: 04/22/2003  
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Michael Berkeley,  Anton Diabelli,  Mauro Giuliani  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow,  Anthea Gifford
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  • 21.
    Reverie / Dale Kavanagh - Regondi, Diabelli, Paganini, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98400 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mauro Giuliani,  Niccolò Paganini,  Anton Diabelli,  Giulio Regondi
    Performer:  Dale Kavanagh
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  • 22.
    Beethoven: Septett;  Strauss, Et Al / Merlin Ensemble Wien
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90494 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Anton Diabelli,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Inge Hager,  Denton Roberts,  Martin Walch,  Haruhi Tanaka  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Merlin Ensemble Vienna
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  • 23.
    Rediscovered Masterpieces - Schubert, Eybler, Mozart
    Label: Gia   Catalog: 515 Release Date: 04/02/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Franz Schubert,  Antonio Salieri,  Joseph Eybler  ... 
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  • 24.
    The Diabelli Collection / Ian Fountain
    Label: Meridian Records   Catalog: 84424 Release Date: 09/04/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Diabelli,  Joseph Dreschler,  Carl Maria von Bocklet,  Ignaz Moscheles  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Fountain
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  • 25.
    Guitar For Relaxation - Albeniz, Bach, Et Al / Julian Bream
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63675 Release Date: 05/16/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Francisco Tarrega,  Anton Diabelli  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cremona String Quartet Members
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