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Beethoven Diabelli Opera/Vocal Piano Piano Freaks Only!

Piano Freaks Only!

UPDATE: As a result of the two comments above (thanks again Taneyev!) – I’ve replaced the “sleeping pianist”! with the master Maurizio Pollini

If you Google stuff like: Greatest Piano pieces or Greatest Piano Compositions; you’ll find a wealth of information. And you’ll almost always find in the list: Beethoven’s Variations on a theme by Diabelli. It’s a really strange story.

This guy Diabelli who wasn’t exactly a shining star in the composition world at the time! – Asked all the “Greats” of the day, to compose some variations on this roughly 1 minute piece. Then he would use the proceeds for charitable donations. (perhaps a forerunner of Bob Geldorf!?)

So what does Beethoven do? He composes 33 Variations on this piddly little theme! (*the critics evaluation of Diabelli’s initial effort range from praise, all the way to this trashing by critic William Kinderman, who says: “Banal, trite, a beer hall waltz”)

The full story is here

(AND you get to listen to bits of Beethoven’s Masterwork)

First we have the original piece by Diabelli, followed by Beethoven. I’ve only included 6 of the 33 variations he did. Afterall … how many “Piano Freaks” are there out there?!

Diabelli theme


Now … here’s what “The Man” – The Big B … did with them. NOTE: Some of the variations are often included in the most difficult to play categorie.