Thoughtful and intereresting article by Hendrik Slegtenhorst on the brilliant Diabelli Variations by Ludwig van Beethoven.


Anton Diabelli (Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org) Anton Diabelli (Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org)

Having last year again studied, with the remarkable insight available from András Schiff, all of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, I have now made my way, after several attempts the last months, with interruptions due to computer collapse and interpersonal commitments, through Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. Add to this a general loss of direction as one attempts to sustain a grasp of a highly integrated and sophisticated work that spans 33 variations and lasts over an hour.

In other words, one must re-adjust one’s ability to appreciate and perceive about every two minutes, all the while holding in the mind the place of the new variation in the architecture of the whole.

However, today, a day later, I remain quite pleasantly startled by my now heightened sense of what was encountered, as for years I had been unable to penetrate the work. I imagine the composer would have been content not to have told…

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