Michael Walsh
August 03, 1990 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Beethoven: ''Diabelli'' Variations

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Alfred Brendel
Producers
Philips
genre
Classical

We gave it an A

In 1819, Anton Diabelli, a music publisher, asked Beethoven and 49 other composers to contribute one variation on a waltz theme he had composed; Beethoven came upme up 23 and later added 10 more. His variations are among the glories of the piano literature. The ”Hammerklavier” Sonata may be deeper, but no other Beethoven piano work is as rich in humor, nuance, and invention as these brilliant glosses on this trivial waltz theme. Brendel, tagged his whole career as a ”pianist’s pianist,” in Beethoven: ”Diabelli” Varations, he demonstrates his considerable wit in a dashing display. The finger work is clean, the tone warm, and the intelligence formidable. What more can a music lover ask for? A

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