Complete variations on a waltz by Diabelli
Pier Paolo Vincenzi (piano)
In 1819 composer and publisher Anton Diabelli got the idea to invite composers from the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire to compose variations on a waltz by his own hand. This was meant to be a monument of the musical art of his time, and a money maker for his publishing house. 51 composers answered to his request, and sent their variations, among whom celebrities like Liszt, Schubert, Hummel, Kalkbrenner, Moscheles. The most famous composer of the time, Ludwig van Beethoven, first rejected the idea in scorn, later however wrote his immense Opus 120, comprising no less than 33 variations on the theme, thus outpassing his “competitors” by an immeasurable degree in both invention and profundity.
This original concept contains all variations by the 51 composers of the waltz variations: many names have passed into total oblivion, but the concept is fascinating in its scope and insight.
Played with total dedication, brilliance and wit by Italian pianist Pier Paolo Vicenzi, who already made a highly successful recording for Brilliant Classics of the complete piano music by Wagner (BC94450).