Beethoven - Diabelli Variations | Alpha ALPHA386

Beethoven - Diabelli Variations


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Label: Alpha

Cat No: ALPHA386

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 19th January 2018

Gramophone Editor's Choice



Martin Helmchen (piano)


Beethoven, Ludwig van

Diabelli Variations, op.120


Martin Helmchen (piano)


The pianist Martin Helmchen has now joined Alpha for several recordings. Acknowledged as one of the leading pianists of his generation, an eminent interpreter of the German repertoire, Helmchen will explore various periods and composers (including Messiaen!), but Beethoven will have a preponderant place in his forthcoming recording projects. Before the complete concertos, planned for 2020, he tackles the Diabelli Variations, ‘a climax in the life of a pianist’. He sees these variations as ‘a voyage to the very heart of the infinity of human feelings and moods, by turns profound, philosophical, satirical’. He regards the cycle as a visionary work that heralds future developments in music, containing the first stirrings of twentieth-century minimalism, atonality and abstraction. This recording is the end result of a long personal association and numerous concerts; a powerful version in which each variation emerges as a masterpiece in its own right.


Helmchen is alive to the music’s ever-changing drama; the clarity of his playing brings out every ingenious detail of harmony and rhythm. A delight
The Sunday Times February 2018
the kind of performer who lifts his audiences up to heaven just by penetrating inside his music with nimble fingers, questing intelligence and a beating heart
The Times January 2018
Helmchen’s commanding pianism and perceptive musicianship hold their own in a competitive catalogue. ... In sum, the overall high distinction of Helmchen’s Diabellis overrides my few quibbles.  Jed Distler
Gramophone April 2018

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