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Variations for piano, Op 48

composer

 
With the exception of his Polish Dances, the Variations for Piano, Op 48, was probably Scharwenka’s most popular work for piano solo during his lifetime. He certainly played it often at his concerts, and in 1919 it was performed by the young Claudio Arrau in Berlin at a concert given to celebrate Scharwenka’s fiftieth anniversary as a performing artist. The well-known German critic Karl Schelle, in reviewing a concert given by Scharwenka in January 1880 which included the Variations, praises him not only as a fine virtuoso performer but also as a composer, stating the Variations to be a fine work of great creative power.

The theme, in D minor, is of a dark and sombre nature, and in the first published edition there were twenty variations. Scharwenka revised and condensed the work some years later, reducing the number of variations to twelve and in some cases changing their order, and it is this version which is recorded here.

from notes by Martin Eastick © 1992

À l’exception des Danses polonaises, les Variations pour Piano furent à coup sûr les œuvres pour piano les plus populaires du vivant de Scharwenka. Il les jouait certainement au cours de ses récitals et en 1919 elles furent interprétées par le jeune Claudio Arrau à Berlin au cours d’un concert donné pour le cinquantième anniversaire de Scharwenka en tant qu’interprète. Faisant l’analyse critique d’un concert donné par Scharwenka en janvier 1880 (concert comprenant les Variations) le célèbre critique allemand Karl Schelle fait l’éloge non seulement du pianiste virtuose mais aussi du compositeur, déclarant que les Variations sont une œuvre subtile faisant preuve d’une grande créativité musicale.

Le thème en ré mineur, sombre et mystérieux, se développait lors de sa première publication en vingt variations. Scharwenka révisa et condensa l’œuvre quelques années plus tard, ne conservant que douze variations et, dans certains cas, en modifia l’ordre. C’est cette version qui est ici enregistrée.

extrait des notes rédigées par Martin Eastick © 1992

Neben seinen Polnischen Tänzen zählten zu Scharwenkas Lebzeiten wahrscheinlich die Variationen für Klavier, op. 48 zu seinen beliebtesten Soloklavierwerken. Sicherlich spielte er sie häufig in seinen Konzerten. 1919 wurden sie vom jungen Claudio Arrau in einem Konzert zur Feier von Scharwenkas 50 Jahren als ausübender Musiker in Berlin aufgeführt. In einer Rezension über ein Konzert, das Scharwenka im Januar 1880 gab und in dem seine Variationen auf dem Programm standen, lobte der weithin bekannte deutsche Publizist Karl Schelle Scharwenka nicht nur als einen virtuosen Interpreten, sondern auch als einen bemerkenswerten Komponisten. Schelle beschrieb die Variationen als ein hervorragendes Werk eines starken kreativen Geistes.

Das Thema in d-Moll ist von dunkler und finsterer Natur, in der Erstveröffentlichung folgten darauf 20 Variationen. Einige Jahre später überarbeitete und konzentrierte Scharwenka das Werk, wobei er die Anzahl der Variationen auf zwölf reduzierte und in einigen Fällen ihre Reihenfolge änderte. Dieser Version wurde hier eingespielt.

aus dem Begleittext von Martin Eastick © 1992

Recordings

Scharwenka: Piano Music, Vol. 3
CDH55133Archive Service

Details

Movement 01: Theme: Andante con moto
Track 9 on CDH55133 [0'54] Archive Service
Movement 02: Variation 1: Un poco più mosso
Track 10 on CDH55133 [0'51] Archive Service
Movement 03: Variation 2: Più animato
Track 11 on CDH55133 [0'19] Archive Service
Movement 04: Variation 3: Non legato
Track 12 on CDH55133 [0'27] Archive Service
Movement 05: Variation 4: Tempo primo
Track 13 on CDH55133 [2'19] Archive Service
Movement 06: Variation 5: Tempo primo
Track 14 on CDH55133 [1'08] Archive Service
Movement 07: Variation 6: Energico e con passione
Track 15 on CDH55133 [1'02] Archive Service
Movement 08: Variation 7: Lento
Track 16 on CDH55133 [1'43] Archive Service
Movement 09: Variation 8: Andantino
Track 17 on CDH55133 [2'27] Archive Service
Movement 10: Variation 9: Grave
Track 18 on CDH55133 [1'12] Archive Service
Movement 11: Variation 10: Allegretto
Track 19 on CDH55133 [0'39] Archive Service
Movement 12: Variation 11: Vivace
Track 20 on CDH55133 [0'38] Archive Service
Movement 13: Variation 12: Allegro con fuoco
Track 21 on CDH55133 [1'08] Archive Service
Movement 14: Variation 13: Adagio
Track 22 on CDH55133 [2'16] Archive Service
Movement 15: Variation 14: Allegro non troppo, ma con fuoco
Track 23 on CDH55133 [2'05] Archive Service
Movement 16: Tempo primo: Andante
Track 24 on CDH55133 [1'17] Archive Service

Track-specific metadata for CDH55133 track 15

Variation 6: Energico e con passione
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-03-13315
Duration
1'02
Recording date
1 October 1992
Recording venue
St Martin's Church, East Woodhay, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Recording producer
John H West
Recording engineer
John Timperley
Hyperion usage
  1. Scharwenka: Piano Music, Vol. 3 (CDH55133)
    Disc 1 Track 15
    Release date: February 2003
    Deletion date: June 2010
    Archive Service
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