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Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Op. 120 / Stewart Goodyear, piano

Album Summary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (33) for Piano on a Waltz by Diabelli in C major, Op. 120
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The release of "Beethoven: The Late Sonatas" (MQS-CD-81507), established Stewart Goodyear as one of the great contemporary performers of Beethoven's monumental piano music.

With "The Diabelli Variations" Stewart Goodyear continues his brilliant exploration of Beethoven's piano repertoire. These Variations ask the pianist to be a fun, self-deprecating, mimicking, and shameless virtuoso as well as a thinking, lyrical lover of all things profound and heavenly. This set is a 45+ minute roller-coaster ride not dissimilar to performing and recording all 32 Beethoven sonatas.

Each variation defies a characterization that is merely a study. If it is a "serious" piece of music, it is because it is seriously funny and seriously irreverent before it ultimately becomes seriously moving. If it is an "entertaining" piece of music, it is because Beethoven brings the listener in with humor, virtuosity and gestures before he opens up his private soul. Beethoven's Diabelli Variations are a brilliant and profound piece, bridging the gap of popular versus artistic, virtuosic versus poetic, and earthy versus otherworldly.

Philadelphia Inquirer
With Beethoven's last five sonatas, he leaps the summit of the piano repertoire with complete success. Performances have a thrilling energy, mania for details, and brim with interpretive ideas that seem to leap out of the speakers in three dimensions. Is he in the rarefied league of Maurizio Pollini?"

All Music Guide
Goodyear's performance of this most difficult of all of Beethoven's piano works ("Hammerklavier") is spectacular. There's an "X factor" here that convinces you Beethoven would have wanted the effect of technical mastery of very thorny material that emerges here.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
Comparisons? Well, there really are no comparisons! After years of listening to many different performances of this, I confess that the vividness of musicianship in this release makes me hear this piece in an altogether new way. It's also unforgettable. Stewart Goodyear belongs in a class by himself.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto (11/02/2013-11/03/2013).


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Works Details

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (33) for Piano on a Waltz by Diabelli in C major, Op. 120
  • Performer: Stewart Goodyear (Piano)
  • Notes: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto (11/02/2013-11/03/2013)
  • Running Time: 38 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1819