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#2534703 04/28/16 08:19 AM
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I started working on these a couple of years ago and recently began recording them. Thinking them to be perhaps somewhat opaque for listeners unfamiliar with the music of late Beethoven I wanted to be able to intersperse comments about the individual variations, so rather than releasing a full hour's worth of music all at once I thought that a blog format might be appropriate. Of course in this format much or all of the continuity is lost, so I will also post the entire set together on my website at some point. At his point I have 31 of the 33 recorded, and while I'm pretty happy with some of them, others obviously need work. Please feel free to comment either regarding technique or musicality, but also about the variations themselves!

So far I have entries for the theme and first two variations, but will be adding more as I find the time to write commentary. Here's the link:

Diabelli Variation blog


Mark Dierauf, RPT
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Mark, this is certainly good news! What an excellent way to present these! Count me as one who is eager to follow your work and appreciate your musicianship.

--Andy


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but at least I'm slow.
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I have an old Youtube when I sat down and sight read them. I wasn't totally unfamiliar of course, I'd listened to them for years and read through them before. The piece is quite enjoyable and accessible pianistically, more so than the Goldbergs or the Brahms-Handel IMO. Even the fugue is less difficult to play than you might expect. It's still an epic test of endurance, focus and flexibility.

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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Even the fugue is less difficult to play than you might expect. It's still an epic test of endurance, focus and flexibility.


You're right - the fugue is less difficult than I would have thought. I had assumed that would be the variation that I'd never be able to play, but there were others that gave me more trouble.

As for endurance and flexibility, I can only say that after two years working on them, I'm experiencing pain in both elbows for the first time in my life!


Mark Dierauf, RPT
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Mark:

What a wonderful project. I will be following it with great interest.

Thank you.

Regards,


BruceD
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cool, I love that work. eventually I'll check it out


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I bookmarked you blogspot. I'm interested to hear your harmonic ovservations in this work. And I just today (amazon in the mail) got LvB's complete variations - plastic comb bound. Yipee!

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Originally Posted by indigo_dave
I bookmarked you blogspot. I'm interested to hear your harmonic ovservations in this work. And I just today (amazon in the mail) got LvB's complete variations - plastic comb bound. Yipee!


I had the good fortune to snag used copies of both volumes of the variations in Henle edition in excellent condition for $7 apiece at my local piano store about 20 years back. I've had a lot of fun reading through many of them!


Mark Dierauf, RPT
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Variation 3 has been uploaded.

http://nhpianos.com/diabelli-variation-3/


Mark Dierauf, RPT
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Mark Dierauf, RPT
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Love your approach and enjoying all!

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Still trying to get a good take of variations 6 & 7. Meanwhile, #5 is up:

http://nhpianos.com/diabelli-variation-5/


Mark Dierauf, RPT
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Mark Dierauf, RPT
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Boy, that 6th variation is hard for me to like. Not because of how well you played it though!

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Originally Posted by RubberFingers
Boy, that 6th variation is hard for me to like. Not because of how well you played it though!


Thanks, RubberFingers - frankly this was not be best effort musically, but at least I hit most of the right keys on this take!

Heard out of context it probably wouldn't be my favorite either, but as part of the progression of the previous variations I think it fits perfectly by building on the increasing virtuosity while simultaneously evincing a sort of lumbering, dull-witted ponderousness. I'm strongly convinced that for Beethoven, humor was an important and recurring "theme" throughout the whole set.

My original recording lacked numbers 6 and 7 (the original takes of which were disasters) so for a while I listened to the complete set minus these two variations. I can say emphatically that there was definitely something missing when going straight from variation 5 to variation 8. This one (along with number 7) fill that void nicely!

Last edited by nhpianos; 05/03/16 07:03 AM.
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Ah, thank you. I'll have to listen again with that in mind. Really enjoying your approach.

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Mark Dierauf, RPT
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Originally Posted by nhpianos


I can't find an audio link for Variation 7.

Regards,


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Not sure what happened, but doing what I can to correct it.


Mark Dierauf, RPT
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Originally Posted by BruceD

I can't find an audio link for Variation 7.

Regards,


All fixed - #7 is available #8 should be right behind.

Last edited by nhpianos; 05/04/16 08:23 AM.

Mark Dierauf, RPT
NH Pianos
Piano technician & rebuilder since 1978
www.nhpianos.com
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