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Diabelli - Variation 8

Diabelli score Var 8

This is one of my favorites and the second that I learned, long before I tackled the whole set. I was first drawn to it after hearing back to back recordings of it on the Deutsche Grammophon “Great Pianists” sampler disc by Artur Schnabel and Maria Yudina, and being intrigued by these two very different interpretations.

Beethoven begins this variation as he did the previous one, with a falling third, but contrasting the frenzied energy in #7 with this gentle tune based upon the ascending schusterfleck sequence in the theme. Here, instead of a single rising wholestep, the bassline walks upwards continuously in each half.

Brendel calls this one Intermezzo (to Brahms)

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