Mendelssohn: Prelude & Fugue; Brahms: 4 Piano Pieces; Beethoven: Diabelli Variations

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All Music Guide - James Leonard
In 2007, live recordings of Rudolf Serkin performing Beethoven's "Diabelli Variations" began surfacing around the world. Dedicated fans of the pianist had long revered his 1957 Marlboro Festival recording of the work issued on Columbia, but in 2007, America's Music & Arts label issued his 1954 Prades Festival recording, and then, only a few months later, England's BBC Music label issued this 1969 Royal Festival Hall recording. Although the three performances are not all that different, dedicated fans of the pianist will want to hear all of them because they're all outstanding. Both the 1954 and the 1957 performances are slightly better played than this 1969 account, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
In 2007, live recordings of Rudolf Serkin performing Beethoven's "Diabelli Variations" began surfacing around the world. Dedicated fans of the pianist had long revered his 1957 Marlboro Festival recording of the work issued on Columbia, but in 2007, America's Music & Arts label issued his 1954 Prades Festival recording, and then, only a few months later, England's BBC Music label issued this 1969 Royal Festival Hall recording. Although the three performances are not all that different, dedicated fans of the pianist will want to hear all of them because they're all outstanding. Both the 1954 and the 1957 performances are slightly better played than this 1969 account, but none of them lack energy and virtuosity. And while the 1969 performance may not have quite the same level of humor as the 1954, much less the 1957, it has perhaps more poetry and, in the Largo, molto expressivo, more tragedy than the earlier accounts. For listeners looking for only one Serkin "Diabelli," the safest choice may still be the 1957 Columbia: coupled with Beethoven's "Bagatelles, Op. 119," and his "Fantasia, Op. 77," it has perhaps the best sound and the most interesting disc-mates. The 1954 Music & Arts has a splendid performance of Beethoven's "Sonata, Op. 109," but far rougher sound. This 1969 BBC Music disc has reasonable sound, perhaps a bit distant but still honest, and comes coupled with a propulsive account of Mendelssohn's "Prelude and Fugue, Op. 35/1," and a magisterial account of Brahms' "Four Piano Pieces, Op. 119," both from 1975.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/31/2007
  • Label: Bbc Legends
  • UPC: 684911421125
  • Catalog Number: 4211

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Prelude & Fugue for piano in E minor/E major, Op. 35/1 - Felix Mendelssohn & John Patrick (9:48)
    Composed byFelix Mendelssohn
  2. 2–5 Pieces (4) for piano, Op. 119 - Johannes Brahms & John Patrick (16:18)
    Composed byJohannes Brahms
    1. 2 Intermezzo in B minor. Adagio
    2. 3 Intermezzo in E minor. Andantino un poco agitato
    3. 4 Intermezzo in C major. Grazioso e giocoso
    4. 5 Rhapsodie in E flat major. Allegro risoluto
  3. 6–39 Variations (33) on a waltz by Diabelli, for piano in C major ("Diabelli Variations"), Op. 120 - Ludwig van Beethoven & John Patrick (52:34)
    Composed byLudwig van Beethoven
    1. 6Tema. Vivace
    2. 7Variation 1. Alla Marcia maestoso
    3. 8Variation 2. Poco allegro
    4. 9Variation 3. L'istesso tempo
    5. 10Variation 4. Un poco più vivace
    6. 11Variation 5. Allegro vivace
    7. 12Variation 6. Allegro ma non troppo e serioso
    8. 13Variation 7. Un poco più allegro
    9. 14Variation 8. Poco vivace
    10. 15Variation 9. Allegro pesante e risoluto
    11. 16Variation 10. Presto
    12. 17Variation 11. Allegretto
    13. 18Variation 12. Un poco più moto
    14. 19Variation 13. Vivace
    15. 20Variation 14. Grave e maestoso
    16. 21Variation 15. Presto scherzando
    17. 22Variation 16. Allegro
    18. 23Variation 17
    19. 24Variation 18. Poco moderato
    20. 25Variation 19. Presto
    21. 26Variation 20. Andante
    22. 27Variation 21. Allegro con brio - Meno allegro - Tempo 1
    23. 28Variation 22. Allegro molto alla "Notte e giorno faticar" di Mozart
    24. 29Variation 23. Allegro assai
    25. 30Variation 24. Fughetta. Andante
    26. 31Variation 25. Allegro
    27. 32Variation 26
    28. 33Variation 27. Vivace
    29. 34Variation 28. Allegro
    30. 35Variation 29. Adagio ma non troppo
    31. 36Variation 30. Andante, sempre cantabile
    32. 37Variation 31. Largo, molto espressivo
    33. 38Variation 32. Fuga. Allegro - Poco adagio
    34. 39Variation 33. Tempo di Menuetto moderato (ma non tirarsi dietro)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Rudolf Serkin Primary Artist
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