Celebrated pianist and renowned Beethoven specialist Rudolf Buchbinder releases his first album on Deutsche Grammophon. The collaboration includes not only his own new interpretation of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations but he has also commissioned 12 new variations, just as Anton Diabelli did in 1819 and has recorded 8 variations of those that Diabelli received back from the composers he wrote to back then.
The original story is that in 1819 music publisher and composer Anton Diabelli wrote a 32-bar German Dance – a forerunner of the waltz – and sent it to more than 50 Austrian composers, asking each of them to write a variation on his original theme. The 8 variations that Buchbinder has chosen from those Diabelli received back including those from Liszt (who was barely 8 years old at the time, Schubert, Czerny and Mozart’s son Franz Xaver Mozart). The 11 contemporary variations that Buchbinder has commissioned include variations (in order of appearance) from Lera Auerbach (*1973), Brett Dean (*1961), Toshio Hosokawa (*1955), Christian Jost (*1963), Brad Lubman (*1962), Philippe Manoury (*1952), Max Richter (*1966), Rodion Shchedrin (*1932), Johannes Maria Staud (*1974), Tan Dun (*1957) and Jörg Widmann (*1973).