Monday, October 21, 2013

Sviatoslav Richter Plays the Diabelli Variations (Praga PR 254 023)

One could imagine that Beethoven had put a full stop to his production of keyboard music with his Sonata n° 32, Op. 111. But two years later he was to write his definitive testament for the piano (although the 6 Bagatelles, Op. 126 were still to come), comparable to the Hammerklavier Sonata in its dimensions, and hi the history of music, forming the counterpart to Bach's Goldberg Variations.
In 1819 the publisher and composer, Anton Diabelli, launched the idea of a collective publication, commissioning fifty composers to write variations on a waltz theme of his own. Among those who accepted - to mention only the best-known composers - were Schubert, Czerny, Hummel, Kalkbrenner and the eleven year-old Liszt. Beethoven refused at first, but then, letting himself be caught by the idea, ended up by composing the demiurgic body of 33 Variations, Op. 120, completing them in 1823. The harmonic scheme of the original waltz is maintained, but in most cases the relationship with the theme is very distant, and each variation is individualized in such a manner that it constitutes a microcosm whithin a vaster universe. It is not possible to discuss each one of the thirty-three variations that exhaust the technical and expressive potentials of the genre, but certain characteristics of some of them may be pointed out : the march of the 1st, the scherzo-like nature of the 2nd, 10th and 15th, the fughetta of the 24th, the minor modes of the 9th and the 29th, 30th and 31st, the four-part double fugue in E-flat major of the 32nd, the chorale of the 20th with its organ-like sonorities, and the surprising introduction and treatment in this context of the quotation of Leporello's "Notte e giorno" from Mozart's Don Giovanni in the 22nd variation... And the least astonishing is not the last variation, which unites the brilliance appropriate to a finale with the spirity of a richly ornamented minuet, by which Beethoven, in the end, seems to return to his Viennese predecessors...
André Lischke, translated by Derek Yeld, from the booklet

Sviatoslav Richter
Plays
Beethoven
(Praga PR 254 023)

Tracks

Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827)

Diabelli Variations, Op. 120

1 Tema - Vivace  0:50
2 Var. 1 - Alla marcia maestoso  2:14
3 Var. 2 - Poco allegro  2:08
4 Var. 3 - L’istesso tempo  1:02
5 Var. 4 - Un poco più vivace  0:55
6 Var. 5 - Allegro vivace  1:40
7 Var. 6 - Allegro ma non troppo e serioso  1:10
8 Var. 7 - Un poco più allegro  1:04
9 Var. 8 - Poco vivace  1:38
10 Var. 9 - Allegro pesante e risoluto  0:40
11 Var. 10 - Presto  1:15
12 Var. 11 - Allegretto  0:50
13 Var. 12 - Un poco più moto  1:08
14 Var. 13 - Vivace  3:39
15 Var. 14 - Grave e maestoso  0:41
16 Var. 15 - Presto scherzando  0:59
17 Var. 16 & 17 - Allegro  1:00
18 Var. 18 - Poco moderato  2:02
19 Var. 19 - Presto  0:56
20 Var. 20 - Andante  2:27
21 Var. 21 - Allegro con brio – Meno allegro – Tempo primo  1:29
22 Var. 22 - Allegro molto, alla ‘Notte e giorno faticar’ di Mozart  0:47
23 Var. 23 - Allegro assai  0:58
24 Var. 24 - Fughetta (Andante)  2:42
25 Var. 25 - Allegro  0:45
26 Var. 26 - (Piacevole)  0:48
27 Var. 27 - Vivace  0:59
28 Var. 28 - Allegro  0:53
29 Var. 29 - Adagio ma non troppo  1:09
30 Var. 30 - Andante, sempre cantabile  1:49
31 Var. 31 - Largo, molto espressivo  3:37
32 Var. 32 - Fuga - Allegro  3:03
33 Var. 33 - Tempo di Menuetto moderato  2:59

*

Piano Sonata n° 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110

34 I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo  6:23
35 II. Allegro molto  2:22
36 III. Adagio, ma non troppo  3:48
37 IV. Fuga  7:48

*

Sviatoslav Richter - p

Recorded in Prague ; May 18, 1986 [# 1-33] ; & June 2, 1965 [# 34-37]

4 comments:

Melanchthon said...

http://lix.in/-d74ba2

pedro gamundi said...

Gracias.

Luro said...

Merci Mel

Anonymous said...

Please, would you be so kind to re-upload this masterpiece? Thanks in advance