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BI 1673
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BI 1673

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 11 (Brautigam) - Variations, Op. 35, "Eroica", WoO 71-73, 75-77

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2012

Recorded in 24 Bit / 44.1Khz
album available as a Studio Master


Ronald Brautigam


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Total Time - 72:16
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BEETHOVEN, L. van: Piano Works (Complete), Vol. 11 (Brautigam) - Variations, Op. 35, "Eroica", WoO 71-73, 75-77

Select Complete Single Disc for



12 Variations on a Russian Dance from Wranitzky's Das Waldmadchen, WoO 71


8 Variations in C major on the Romance Un fievre brulante from Gretry's Richard Coeur-de-lion, WoO 72


10 Variations on the Duet La stessa, le stessissima from Salieri's Falstaff in B flat major, WoO 73


7 Variations in F major on the Quartet Kind, willst du ruhig schlafen from Winter's Das unterbrochene Opferfest, WoO 75


8 Variations on the Trio Tandeln und Scherzen from Sussmayr's Solimann der Zweite in F major, WoO 76


6 Variations in G major on an Original Theme, WoO 77


15 Variations and a Fugue on an Original Theme in E flat major, Op. 35, "Eroica Variations"

 Ronald Brautigam Soloist

’Theme and variations’ is one form that Beethoven employed throughout his career. He wrote his first surviving set while still a boy in Bonn and finished the last one some forty years later - a statistical fact that becomes interesting when one considers the inherent tension between the composer’s dramatic style and the static and decorative nature of the form itself. Towards the end of the 18th century variation form was generally used for entertaining elaborations on popular tunes but Beethoven, being Beethoven, changed the ground rules radically. For a while he followed the convention - or shrewd marketing strategy - of using existing melodies from operas or ballets, but often these would almost immediately undergo such profound transformations that he might as well have used an unknown theme. As a consequence it is understandable that Beethoven’s variations were often considered much too learned, far too eccentric and, by some, even offensive. Following on his acclaimed recordings of the omposer’s sonatas, sonatinas and bagatelles, Ronald Brautigam here presents the first disc of four with variations, comprising works composed between 1796 and 1802. These were momentous years during which Beethoven became established as the leading young composer following Haydn and Mozart, but also began to suffer from a loss of hearing which in the summer of 1802 would bring him to a deep personal crisis. The one work here that was composed after this crisis, the ’Eroica variations’ Op.35, is on a much larger scale than any of the variations he had written before, and Beethoven concluded them with a fugue, himself describing the work as being in ’a wholly new style’. Highlighting this change in style, but also illustrating the rapid development of the fortepiano during this period, Brautigam has chosen to use two different instruments for this programme - the earlier works, left without opus numbers by the composer, are played on an instrument by Paul McNulty after Walter & Sohn c.1805, while the Op.35 set is performed on another by the same maker, after Conrad Graf c.1819.

                        ****   Excellent

Riccardo Risaliti - Musica magazine - September 2012

                    Gramophone Choice

"...Brautigam’s interpretations are stunning. He brings stylish character and life to each of the small variation sets and never misses a trick, so to speak... He also gives one of the finest recorded performances of the Eroica Variations ..."

Jed Distler - Gramophone magazine - July 2012

"...Something of a highlight even by this series’ standards."

Dominy Clements - - 23 May 2012


                           Music *****         Sound ****


Ingo Harden - Fono Forum - June 2012

                   Performance *****          Recording *****

"...A must for those interested in the byways of Beethoven’s keyboard music."


Misha Donat - BBC Music magazine - June 2012

                   ***  - Good                 *** - Sound

"...much smoothness and clarity"

Luc Nevers - Classica magazine - May 2012        

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