Beethoven: Diabelli Variationsby Edmund Battersby
Unlike some musicians who specialize in performance on period instruments, there's nothing rigid or doctrinaire about Edmund Battersby's approach to Beethoven. On this release, the pianist -- and fortepianist -- goes so far as to offer two complete recordings of the Diabelli Variations, one on a modern Steinway, the other on a recently built replica of a 1825 Conrad Graf instrument, similar to one owned by Beethoven himself. Battersby's point -- amply made by his incisive playing as well as his instrument choices -- seems to be that we're under no obligation to choose one or the other, but rather that the two options can be mutually illuminating. And so they are, but with the twist that whichever version you're listening to at the moment seems to be the superior one: In the midst of the modern piano performance, it's hard to imagine giving up the instrument's boldness, dynamic range, and rich resonance, yet paradoxically, those features aren't much missed when the magically lighter and brighter sound of the period instrument is in the air. Since the Diabelli Variations can be rather enigmatic -- a massive and ultimately transcendent set of variations on a trivial little tune -- Battersby's twofold illumination of the work will not only help the listener appreciate its full stature but also the breadth of the performer's talents.
- Release Date:
- Variations (32) on a waltz by Diabelli, for piano in C major ("Diabelli Variations"), Op. 120
Performance CreditsEdmund Battersby Primary Artist
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