Ludwig van Beethoven

Variations (32) on an original theme for piano in C minor, WoO 80

    Description by Sol Louis Siegel

    This powerful work dates from 1806, the year of the more lyrical Violin Concerto and Fourth Symphony. In form it resembles the famous Chaccone from Bach's D minor Partita for violin, with a short thematic fragment given equally terse variations. Beethoven's theme, however, is even shorter, a series of chords with a couple of runs thrown in, and there is a smaller range of emotion. The music is moody, or stormy, or melancholy; there is little light even in the brief major-key section (Variations 12-16). The work requires considerable virtuosity, with each variation presenting a different technical challenge so that it almost seems like a set of etudes. However, it is the sometimes violent emotional content that dominates. In the extended final variation the music at last finds its way into song, but it is a somber song which fades away with two quiet chords at the end.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Sony Classical 88875119792
    2016 BIS BIS 1942
    2016 Dux Records DUX 1231
    2016 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4796724
    2016 Piano Classics PCLM 0104
    2016 Sony Classical 88875183392
    2015 Alpha Alpha 201
    2015 Sony Classical 88875032222
    2015 Victor Elmaleh Collection VEC 110
    2014 Audite AUDITE 21419
    2014 Oehms Classics OC 434
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2013 Sony Classical 88883768602
    2013 Genuin GEN 13283
    2012 Decca
    2012 Documents 233558
    2012 Sony Classical 88725412872
    2012 Sony Classical 88691912562
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2011 EMI Classics
    2011 Cembal d'amour CD158
    2011 Oehms Classics OC775
    2010 Genuin 10181
    2010 Master Chord MC1004
    2010 Doremi / Doremi Records 7936
    2010 Urania 22410
    2010 Decca
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon 447 766-2GH
    2010 EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099962951128
    2010 Decca
    2010 Decca 4782340
    2009 Denon Classics / Denon Records
    2009 Colosseum / Zebralution
    2009 Oehms Classics 732
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Audite 21404
    2009 EMI Classics 13251
    2009 BBC Legends 42602
    2009 Berlin Classics 0016542
    2008 Cembal d'Amour 136
    2008 Avi 553067
    2008 Deutsche Gram. Ger. / DG Deutsche Grammophon 4776656
    2008 Brilliant 93761
    2008 Archipel / Archipel Records 0376
    2007 Gega New 302
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2007 CRD Records 3506
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93183
    2007 Sony BMG 88697148132
    2007 Urania 4255
    2007 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2007 Philips 4758510
    2007 APR (Appian) 6004
    2007 Parlophone
    2006 Resonance 3058
    2006 Universal Classics & Jazz
    2006 RCA 67892
    2006 DG Deutsche Grammophon 000764972
    2006 DG Deutsche Grammophon 000731602
    2006 EMI Classics 347826
    2005 Warner Classics
    2005 Philips 4756757
    2005 Decca 4757065
    2005 BBC Legends / BBC Music 41662
    2005 Archipel 0246
    2004 Resonance 3000
    2004 BBC Legends / BBC Music 41422
    2004 EMI Classics 85761
    2004 Ivory Records 73005
    2003 Harmonia Mundi 901775
    2003 Philips 473686
    2002 Koch Schwann 31499
    2002 Andante 2980
    2001 Classica d'Oro 3004
    2001 Supraphon 35822
    2001 Supraphon 35802
    2000 Astree 40001
    2000 EMI Music Distribution 56136
    2000 RCA / RCA Red Seal 75523
    2000 Arkadia 78584
    1999 Philips 462586
    1999 Philips 456 985-2PM2
    1999 Philips 454987
    1999 Pearl 9262
    1999 Philips 456895
    1998 Philips 462358
    1998 Philips 456922
    1998 Brioso Recordings 115
    1997 DG Deutsche Grammophon 453 733-2GCB8
    1997 Magic Talent 48036
    1997 APR (Appian) 5517
    1996 ASV 6155
    1996 Magic Talent 48005
    1995 Aca Digital 20006
    1994 Naxos 550676
    1994 Vanguard 8074
    1994 Multisonic 0063
    1993 Kontrapunkt 32145
    1993 Music & Arts 773
    1993 VAI Audio 1021
    1992 Sony Music Distribution 52646
    1992 Orfeo 40841
    1992 Vox 3017
    1992 Koch Schwann 31315
    1992 EMI Music Distribution 67366
    1992 RCA 61265
    1991 Philips 432301
    1990 EMI Music Distribution 62901
    1990 EMI Music Distribution 763538-2
    Cascade Records 2233
    London 436834
    Brilliant Classics 93525/55
    Brilliant Classics 93183/2
    Duo Records (Meridian) 89023
    Teldec
    Stereophile 17
    Black Box Classics 3003
    Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 5011
    Protone Records 1112
    Grammofono 2000 78619/21
    Duo Records (Meridian) 89001
    Pearl 9457
    Melodiya 25179
    The Piano Library 289
    Town Hall 29
    Magic Talent 48098
    Melodiya 25172
    Grammofono 2000 78520
    Sirio 530026