Monday, December 02, 2013

Beethoven: Diabelli Variations and other works

"There are two sets of Diabelli Variations in AndrĂ¡s Schiff's collection of Beethoven's last three piano works, both in their very different ways period performances. On the first of the two discs, which also includes the C minor Sonata Op 111, Schiff plays the instrument he used for his memorable Beethoven cycle at the Wigmore Hall last season, a Bechstein, made in 1921, on which Wilhelm Backhaus regularly gave recitals and made recordings. On the second, which follows the Diabelli with the Op 126 Bagatelles, he plays a fortepiano made in Vienna by Franz Brodmann around 1820; Schiff now owns the instrument and has lent it to the Beethoven-haus in Bonn, where the recordings were made. Both discs are enthralling. In the sleeve notes Schiff makes an eloquent case for resisting what he sees as the 'globalisation' of piano music, in which everything is played on a Steinway ..." (Andrew Clements, "Review," Guardian, 10/3/13).

View catalog record here!


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