In 1819, the Viennese publisher Anton Diabelli asked ‘the most excellent composers and virtuosi of Vienna and the Austrian Empire’, to write a variation on a waltz theme he had composed. Beethoven was also asked and although he at first refused, he did finally deliver a cycle of 33 variations as his own contribution to this strange competition. His set was published separately in 1823. The 50 variations by the other composers appeared a year later, under the collective title of ‘National Society of Artists, Part 2’. From these, Jörg Demus chooses 32, basing his decisions both on the quality of the pieces themselves and the playing-time of an LP, on which the recording first appeared. Played on various fortepianos of the time, this marks this unique recording’s first release on CD.
Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli
Assmayer · Bocklet · Czapek · Czerny · Dreschler · Freystaedtler · Gänsbacher · Gelinek · Halm · Hoffmann · Horzalka · Huglmann · Hummel · Kalkbrenner · Kerzkowsky · Kreutzer · Lannoy · Leidesdorf · Liszt · Moscheles · W.A. Mozart (son) · Rieger · Roser · Schubert · Stadler · Szalay · Tomaschek (Tomášek) · Winkhler · Wittasek (Vitásek) · Worzischek (Voříšek)
1-33 33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli, Op. 120
Jörg Demus, fortepiano
Recording Producer: Dr. Andreas Holschneider
Balance Engineer: Klaus Scheibe
Recording Location: Palais Schönburg, Vienna, Austria, October-November 1971