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Label:
  BIS - http://www.bis.se/
Serial:
  BIS-SACD-1673
Title:
  Beethoven: Complete Piano Works Vol. 11 - Brautigam
Description:
  Ludwig van Beethoven: Zwölf Variationen über den russischen Tanz aus Das Waldmädchen WoO71, Acht Variationen über Une fièvre brûlante WoO72, Zehn Variationen über La stessa, la stessissima WoO73, Sieben Variationen über Kind, willst du ruhig schlafen WoO75, Acht Variationen über Tändeln und Scherzen WoO76, Sechs Variationen über ein eigenes Thema G-Dur WoO77, Fünfzehn Variationen mit einer Fuge Es-Dur Op. 35 ("Eroica" Variations)


Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano)
Track listing:
 
Genre:
  Classical - Instrumental
Content:
  Stereo/Multichannel
Media:
  Hybrid
Recording type:
 
Recording info:
 

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Reviews: 1

Review by seth June 28, 2012 (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The chief reason to buy this disc is for Brautigam's dazzling performance of the Eroica Variations.

Infrequently played and recorded merely because it's not one of the numbered 32 sonatas, the Eroica Variations is a clever, virtuoso work from the beginning of Beethoven's second period. It exhibits the same kind of nervous energy as the 2nd Symphony, which this performance embodies.

Unlike many theme-and-variation pieces which can be a bit pedantic, instead of just stating the theme and going through a few contained variations, Beethoven opens the piece with the bass line to the main theme, puts it through three variations, then states the whole theme, puts it through 15 variations, and finally closes the work with a finale that includes a fugue.

Brautigam's playing is brash, highlighting the dynamic contrasts of the music. He effectively pounds out the three dotted 8th note section of the theme that are peppered throughout the work. As I said before, the spirit of the 2nd Symphony (completed the same year as the Eroica Variations) permeates this performance.

As for the sound of the fortepiano, it works quite well. In the second variation, for example, its wiry sound is a natural fit with all the 16th notes.

The other variations on the disc date from Beethoven's first period. While Brautigam and BIS deserve much praise for recording all of Beethoven's solo keyboard music (has anyone else ever done this?), compared to the Eroica Variations, they are a bit inconsequential.

Like the previous releases in this series, BIS's sound is excellent. All I can say are the usually adjectives of praise.

Since I received this disc a month and a half ago I've probably listened to the Eroica Variations nearly 20 times -- like the previous releases, it's Beethoven played to perfection.

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Works: 7  

Ludwig van Beethoven - 10 Variations on "La stessa, la stessissima", WoO. 73
Ludwig van Beethoven - 12 Variations on the Russian dance "Das Waldmädchen", WoO. 71
Ludwig van Beethoven - 15 Variations and Fugue, Op. 35 "Eroica"
Ludwig van Beethoven - 6 Variations on a Simple Theme in G major, WoO. 77
Ludwig van Beethoven - 7 Variations on "Kind, willst du ruhig schlafen", WoO. 75
Ludwig van Beethoven - 8 Variations on "Tändeln und Scherzen", WoO. 76
Ludwig van Beethoven - 8 Variations on "Une fièvre brûlante", WoO. 72