Beethoven: Diabelli Variations

Stewart Goodyear
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"This is joyful, uplifting music and Goodyear has the formidable technique and astute sense of structure to be able to switch from one character to the next... He clearly defines the unique personality and mood of each variation... The love and joy of playing Beethoven is evident in every nuance and breath of Goodyear’s performance... The sound of the recording, tempo and timing flows naturally in its expressive and colourful journey... This current CD establishes him as one of the premier Beethoven interpreters today. This is an excellent recording and is highly recommended." - The Wholenote

"It is a magnificent listening experience... and seems to gain a bit more each time I hear it... [H]ighlights include the heart-stopping beauty of Variations 29 through 31, and the last two, 32 and 33, grand and good-natured." - Richard Todd, Wolfgang's Tonic

"After years of listening to many different performances of this, I confess that the vividness of musicianship in this release makes me hear this piece in an altogether new way... it’s also unforgettable. Stewart Goodyear belongs in a class by himself." - Haskins, American Record Guide

"In an era where few unambiguously great Diabelli Variations recordings grace the catalog as individual releases... I embrace Goodyear’s mindful mastery and integrity with open arms and grateful ears." - Jed Distler, Classics Today

The overall impression is that Goodyear is in constant motion, exploring the variations with building excitement, and he seems to know that listeners' attention can wander unless the performance has high levels of energy and brilliance, which he provides in abundance...This is fast-paced and incisive music that compels listening, and succeeds because of the pianist's apparent vitality and bravura skills. - Blair Sanderson, AllMusic

Stewart Goodyear gained rave reviews with the release of his Beethoven: Complete Piano Notes: Sonatas (MAR 513), as well as releases of Beethoven: The Middle Sonatas (MAR 511) and The Late Sonatas (MAR 507). He continues his exploration of Beethoven's piano repertoire with a brilliant recording of 33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120.

Beethoven's Diabelli Variations are considered to be one of the greatest sets of variations for keyboard, along with J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations. Beethoven's approach to the theme of Diabelli's waltz is to take some of its smallest elements and build upon them pieces of great imagination, power and subtlety.

Stewart Goodyear says: "Beethoven's Diabelli Variations are both brilliant and profound, bridging the gap of popular versus artistic, virtuosic versus poetic, and earthy versus otherworldly."

Critical praise for Stewart's recording of the late Beethoven sonatas: "With Beethoven's last five sonatas, he leaps the summit of the piano repertoire with complete success. Performances have a thrilling energy, mania for details, and brim with interpretive ideas that seem to leap out of the speakers in three dimensions." - David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirier

Catalog: MAR 455
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Track Listing

  1. Tema: Vivace  
  2. Variation 1:         AlIa marcia maestoso
  3. Variation 2:         Poco allegro
  4. Variation 3:         L’istesso tempo 
  5. Variation 4:         Un poco più vivace
  6. Variation 5:         Allegro vivace 
  7. Variation 6:         Allegro ma non troppo e serioso 
  8. Variation 7:         Un poco più allegro
  9. Variation 8:         Poco vivace                                     
  10. Variation 9:         Allegro pesante e risoluto
  11. Variation 10:       Presto
  12. Variation 11:       Allegretto 
  13. Variation 12:       Un poco più moto
  14. Variation 13:       Vivace
  15. Variation 14:       Grave e maestoso
  16. Variation 15:       Presto scherzando 
  17. Variation 16:       Allegro
  18. Variation 17:       Allegro
  19. Variation 18:       Poco moderato 
  20. Variation 19:       Presto
  21. Variation 20:       Andante
  22. Variation 21:       Allegro con brio – Meno allegro
  23. Variation 22:       Allegro molto (alIa “Notte e giorno faticar” di Mozart)    
  24. Variation 23:       Allegro assai 
  25. Variation 24:       Fughetta: Andante  
  26. Variation 25:       Allegro    
  27. Variation 26:       Piacevole 
  28. Variation 27:       Vivace   
  29. Variation 28:       Allegro (Listen)  
  30. Variation 29:       Adagio ma non troppo  
  31. Variation 30:       Andante, sempre cantabile   
  32. Variation 31:       Largo, molto espressivo  
  33. Variation 32:       Fuga: Allegro                                  
  34. Variation 33:       Tempo di menuetto moderato 
Total playing time: 47:00

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