Hyperion Records

Variations and a Fugue on an Original Theme 'Eroica', Op 35
composer

Recordings
'Beethoven & Brahms: Variations' (CDH55201)
Beethoven & Brahms: Variations
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDH55201  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service  
Details
Movement 01: Introduzione col Basso del Tema
Track 28 on CDH55201 [2'56] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 02: Tema
Track 29 on CDH55201 [0'43] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 03: Variation 1
Track 30 on CDH55201 [0'37] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 04: Variation 2
Track 31 on CDH55201 [0'53] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 05: Variation 3
Track 32 on CDH55201 [0'42] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 06: Variation 4
Track 33 on CDH55201 [0'38] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 07: Variation 5
Track 34 on CDH55201 [0'48] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 08: Variation 6
Track 35 on CDH55201 [0'39] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 09: Variation 7
Track 36 on CDH55201 [0'41] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 10: Variation 8
Track 37 on CDH55201 [0'58] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 11: Variation 9
Track 38 on CDH55201 [0'40] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 12: Variation 10
Track 39 on CDH55201 [0'43] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 13: Variation 11
Track 40 on CDH55201 [0'44] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 14: Variation 12
Track 41 on CDH55201 [0'41] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 15: Variation 13
Track 42 on CDH55201 [0'41] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 16: Variation 14
Track 43 on CDH55201 [1'20] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 17: Variation 15
Track 44 on CDH55201 [4'50] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Movement 18: Finale alla Fuga
Track 45 on CDH55201 [4'43] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service

Variations and a Fugue on an Original Theme 'Eroica', Op 35
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The Op 35 variations date from 1802, the year of the Op 30 violin sonatas and the second symphony, of the Heiligenstadt Testament. To his Leipzig publisher, Breitkopf & Härtel, Beethoven wrote (18 October): ‘I have made two sets of variations … both are written in quite a new style and each in an entirely different way … you will never regret the two works. Each theme in them is treated independently and in a wholly different manner … I myself can assure you that in both works the style is completely new for me …’

Cast in the unusual form of an introduction, theme, fifteen variations and a fugue, the Op 35 cycle is based on a sixteen-bar binary theme from the finale of the ballet Prometheus (1800/1), a tune Beethoven used also for a Contradanse of the same period (WoO14 No 7), as well as of course, most celebratedly, for the finale of the later ‘Eroica’ Symphony (1803). In a manner anticipative of the ‘Diabelli’ Variations, he thinks of this idea essentially as a generating ‘thematic unit’. His preoccupation is with the totality of its profile. He is as much concerned with its harmonic underlay, its bass line, as with its melodic foreground – how melody and bass coexist as one and alternate as individuals. It is impossible to miss that predominantly the variations are about the melody, while the introduction (‘col Basso del Tema’, as Beethoven describes it) and the subject of the fugue a tre are about the bass. When both are united, as in the closing pages (a resumption of the slow variation before the fugue that Beethoven was to turn to again for the ‘Eroica’), the combined tension they generate can be simply enormous.

Op 35 is a singular masterpiece: an extraordinary composite of passacaglia, chaconne, variation, fugue, canon, dance, aria, fantasy … a towering edifice of pianistic bravura, of orchestral allusion, of vocal suggestion … a teasing study in the intercourse of modes major, minor and unisonal …

from notes by Ates Orga © 1989

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDH55201 track 44
Variation 15
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-04-20144
Duration
4'50
Recording date
25 December 1989
Recording venue
Abbey Road Studios, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ates Orga
Recording engineer
Peter Bown
Hyperion usage
  1. Beethoven & Brahms: Variations (CDH55201)
    Disc 1 Track 44
    Release date: November 2004
    Deletion date: February 2012
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
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