Beethoven: Complete Works for Solo Piano, Vol 15 - Brautigam
Classical - Instrumental
Beethoven: 33 Veränderungen über einen Walzer von Anton Diabelli (Diabelli Variations), Op. 120, 6 National Airs with Variations, Op. 105
Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano)
Ronald Brautigam completes his acclaimed series with Beethoven’s last great work for solo piano.
In 1819 the Viennese music publisher and composer Anton Diabelli sent a short waltz to a long list of composers. These included Schubert, Hummel, a very young Franz Liszt and, as the most prominent composer of the time, naturally Beethoven. Diabelli was proposing to compile an anthology of variations on his own waltz, one from each composer. Beethoven responded in a characteristic manner: first there was nothing, and then there was nothing … and then, in 1823, there was an entire, and monumental, set of no less than thirty-three variations.
As the last large-scale piano work by Beethoven, the Diabelli Variations form a fitting close to Ronald Brautigam’s traversal of the complete solo piano music. Described in International Record Review as ‘a Beethoven player whose musical discernment is a constant source of wonderment’, Brautigam has through the course of this series performed works composed between 1783 and 1825, using four different fortepianos. On the present disc we hear a copy of a 4-stringed fortepiano by Conrad Graf from 1822 – similar to Beethoven’s own last instrument, which Graf supplied him with in 1826, a year before the composer’s death.
Recorded in August 2015 at Österåker Church, Sweden, 24/96
Producer and sound engineer: Ingo Petry (Take5 Music Production)
Equipment: BIS’s recording teams use microphones from Neumann and Schoeps, audio electronics from RME, Lake People and DirectOut, MADI optical cabling technology, monitoring equipment from B&W, STAX and Sennheiser, and Sequoia and Pyramix digital audio workstations.
Post-production: Editing and mixing: Ingo Petry
Executive producer: Robert Suff