Hyperion Records

Variations on 'Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu', Op 121a
composer
arranged for piano trio in 1816; variations originally written circa 1794; after Wenzel Müller's Die Schwestern von Prag

Recordings
'Beethoven: The Complete Music for Piano Trio' (CDS44471/4)
Beethoven: The Complete Music for Piano Trio
Buy by post £22.00 CDS44471/4  4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Beethoven: The Complete Music for Piano Trio, Vol. 2' (CDA67369)
Beethoven: The Complete Music for Piano Trio, Vol. 2
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67369 
Details
Movement 01: Introduzione
Track 6 on CDA67369 [4'34]
Track 6 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [4'34] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 02: Tema
Track 7 on CDA67369 [0'34]
Track 7 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [0'34] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 03: Variation 1
Track 8 on CDA67369 [0'37]
Track 8 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [0'37] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 04: Variation 2
Track 9 on CDA67369 [0'36]
Track 9 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [0'36] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 05: Variation 3
Track 10 on CDA67369 [0'43]
Track 10 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [0'43] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 06: Variation 4
Track 11 on CDA67369 [0'39]
Track 11 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [0'39] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 07: Variation 5
Track 12 on CDA67369 [0'40]
Track 12 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [0'40] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 08: Variation 6
Track 13 on CDA67369 [0'40]
Track 13 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [0'40] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 09: Variation 7
Track 14 on CDA67369 [0'50]
Track 14 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [0'50] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 10: Variation 8
Track 15 on CDA67369 [0'39]
Track 15 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [0'39] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 11: Variation 9
Track 16 on CDA67369 [1'44]
Track 16 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [1'44] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 12: Variation 10
Track 17 on CDA67369 [1'50]
Track 17 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [1'50] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 13: Allegretto
Track 18 on CDA67369 [1'45]
Track 18 on CDS44471/4 CD2 [1'45] 4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Variations on 'Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu', Op 121a
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In his early Viennese years Beethoven satisfied popular demand for variations on operatic hit tunes with a stream of works involving his own instrument. And though the evidence is not watertight, the variations on the song ‘Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu’ (‘I am Kakadu the tailor’) from Wenzel Müller’s 1794 comic Singspiel Die Schwestern von Prag (‘The sisters from Prague’), probably originated at this time. Two decades later, in 1816, Beethoven wrote to the Leipzig publisher Härtel offering ‘Variations with an introduction and supplement, for piano, violin and cello, on a well-known theme by Müller, one of my earlier compositions, though it is not among the reprehensible ones’. Wenzel’s opera was revived in Vienna in 1814. And this may well have prompted Beethoven to dust down and revise his youthful variations, taking account of the extended compass of the newest pianos and perhaps adding his ‘supplement’ (i.e. coda) plus the exaggeratedly sombre G minor introduction that gradually outlines the ‘Kakadu’ theme. When the naive, Papageno-ish tune emerges in full, in a blithe G major, it is with an absurd sense of anticlimax – the kind of comic deflation Dohnányi emulated a century later in his Variations on a Nursery Theme. The variations broadly follow the traditional pattern by adorning the melody with increasingly brilliant figuration, though No 5, with its spare contrapuntal textures, and No 7, a delicate imitative duo for violin and cello alone, deconstruct rather than merely decorate the theme. After the traditional Adagio variation in the minor key, No 9, full of chromatic pathos (shades here of the slow introduction), and a jolly 6/8 variation, Beethoven launches a long and capricious coda by turning Müller’s ditty into a mock-learned fugato.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2003

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDS44471/4 disc 2 track 7
Tema
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-03-36907
Duration
0'34
Recording date
22 September 2002
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Beethoven: The Complete Music for Piano Trio, Vol. 2 (CDA67369)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: August 2003
  2. Beethoven: The Complete Music for Piano Trio (CDS44471/4)
    Disc 2 Track 7
    Release date: October 2011
    4CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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