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Beethoven: Diabelli Variations et al. / Andreas Staier, fortepiano after Conrad Graf

Audio Samples

>Diabelli, Anton : Waltz (Theme for the Variations)
>Czerny, Carl : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 4), for piano (part of collaborative work)
>Hummel, Johann Nepomuk : Variations on a waltz by Diabelli for piano, S. 161
>Kalkbrenner, Frédéric : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 18)
>Kerzkowsky, Joseph : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 20)
>Kreutzer, Conradin : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 21)
>Liszt, Franz : Variation uber einen Walzer von Diabelli, for piano, S. 147 (LW A1)
>Moscheles, Ignaz : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 26)
>Pixis, Johann Peter : Variation on a Waltz theme of Diabelli
>Mozart, Franz Xavier W. : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 28)
>Schubert, Franz : Variation on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, for piano in C minor, D. 718
>Staier, Andreas : Andreas Staier's Introduction to Beethoven's Diabelli Variations
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (33) for Piano on a Waltz by Diabelli in C major, Op. 120

Album Summary

>Diabelli, Anton : Waltz (Theme for the Variations)
>Czerny, Carl : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 4), for piano (part of collaborative work)
>Hummel, Johann Nepomuk : Variations on a waltz by Diabelli for piano, S. 161
>Kalkbrenner, Frédéric : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 18)
>Kerzkowsky, Joseph : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 20)
>Kreutzer, Conradin : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 21)
>Liszt, Franz : Variation uber einen Walzer von Diabelli, for piano, S. 147 (LW A1)
>Moscheles, Ignaz : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 26)
>Pixis, Johann Peter : Variation on a Waltz theme of Diabelli
>Mozart, Franz Xavier W. : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 28)
>Schubert, Franz : Variation on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, for piano in C minor, D. 718
>Staier, Andreas : Andreas Staier's Introduction to Beethoven's Diabelli Variations
>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (33) for Piano on a Waltz by Diabelli in C major, Op. 120
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

In 1819, music publisher and composer Anton Diabelli sent a waltz of his own creation to all the important composers of the Austrian Empire, asking each of them to write a variation on it. His plan was to publish the variations in a patriotic volume called Vaterländischer Künstlerverein and to use the profits to benefit orphans and widows of the Napoleonic Wars. Beethoven chose to write not just a single variation, but a set of thirty-three. His audacious submission, the Diabelli Variations, has since become one of the most revered examples of the genre. On this fascinating disc, pianist Andreas Staier, playing a fortepiano after Conrad Graf, pairs Beethoven's magnum opus with a selection of the other works based upon Diabelli's waltz. Here you can discover the very first stirrings of Liszt's virtuosity (aged eleven), the music of Mozart's son, variations by Kreutzer, Kalkbrenner and even the great Franz Schubert. This fascinating album sheds welcome new light on both the music and the milieu of Beethoven's timeless masterpiece.

"Every now and then a CD comes along which paints a familiar piece in completely new colours. This recording...is one. The pianist Andreas Staier achieves this partly by playing on a copy of an early19th-century fortepiano...But the really interesting colours are the one Staier makes himself...the CD is a triumph of musical intelligence and sensitivity, which, despite its learning, sounds completely free and natural." -The Daily Telegraph

The Independent on Sunday, 29th April 2012 *****
Staier's fortepiano is deliciously transparent, his musicianship revelatory.

The Guardian, 16th May 2012
It's safe to predict that very few people who hear this extraordinary performance... will have heard one quite like it before... his performance is about much more than special effects. Staier's variations of touch and tone and the nuances of his pedalling would be remarkable on a modern concert grand, let alone such an early instrument, while he is always alert to the ways in which he can articulate and alter the pacing.

Sunday Times, 27th May 2012
Staier finds unexpected colours in this most mercurial, witty and enigmatic of the late piano works. Anybody accustomed to the "plinky-plonk" sound of period instruments in modern... will be astonished at the spectrum of timbres Staier conjures from this fortepiano... A piano disc for the ages.

International Record Review, June 2012
His interpretative approach scarcely needs describing: relatively straightforward in delivery, technically impeccable, making light of the inherent unevenness of the instruments...An outstanding achievement...which certainly whets the appetite for more Beethoven to come.

BBC Music Magazine, August 2012
The endlessly ear-opening consequences are riveting; the wide-ranging aplomb of Beethoven's Variations could have been conceived with Staier's musical curiosity and flair in mind...This isn't just an indisputably great performance on fortepiano; it's a great performance full stop. Given Staier's virtuosity and insight, what price Hammerklavier next?..

MusicWeb International, 24th September 2012
This latest disc from Andreas Staier stands out. First, it's the most infectiously joyous recording I have of the Diabellis. At times, Staier's performance makes me almost want to get up and dance ... delicious, rich sound, which brings back the music as Beethoven heard it ... Staier's performance is lively, aggressive and full of joy. It is a delight to hear him play this work ... The recording is excellent ... this is a great recording of a great work, and one that any lover of Beethoven's piano works should get.

Gramophone Magazine, August 2012
Staier's perfectly judged tempi, angular demeanour, characterful contrasts, biting accents and cumulative sweep add up to a performance that abounds with probing details yet never loses sight of the music's grand design...This is far away the most stimulating and best-played fortepiano Diabelli Variations on compact disc.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Teldex Studio Berlin (09/2010).



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Works Details

>Diabelli, Anton : Waltz (Theme for the Variations)
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Czerny, Carl : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 4), for piano (part of collaborative work)
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Hummel, Johann Nepomuk : Variations on a waltz by Diabelli for piano, S. 161
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Frédéric Kalkbrenner (1785 - 1849) : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 18)
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Kerzkowsky, Joseph : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 20)
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 7 sec.

>Kreutzer, Conradin : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 21)
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Liszt, Franz : Variation über einen Walzer von Diabelli, for piano, S. 147 (LW A1)
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1822

>Moscheles, Ignaz : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 26)
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Pixis, Johann Peter : Variation on a Waltz theme of Diabelli
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Mozart, Franz Xavier W. : Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli (v. 28)
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Schubert, Franz : Variation on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, for piano in C minor, D. 718
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 03/1821

>Staier, Andreas : Andreas Staier's Introduction to Beethoven's Diabelli Variations
  • Running Time: 3 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Beethoven, Ludwig van : Variations (33) for Piano on a Waltz by Diabelli in C major, Op. 120
  • Performer: Andreas Staier (Piano)
  • Running Time: 43 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1819