Ludwig van Beethoven

Variations (6) on "Nel Cor Più" from Paisiello's La molinara, for piano in G major, WoO 70

    Description by James Reel

    During his first couple of years in Vienna, Beethoven was so absorbed in the social world -- making contacts, giving lessons to aristocrats, attending the opera -- that he wrote very little music, and what he produced was not especially significant. At one point, the noblewoman whose guest he was asked him to write some keyboard variations on tunes from Giovanni Paisiello's new opera, La Molinara. Beethoven apparently cranked them out overnight; they are technically simple, can be played in about five minutes, and get by on charm rather than profundity. The theme is from the opera's main duet, a hummable if repetitive tune that takes no surprising turns. Beethoven sets out the theme, then launches a variation full of rapid right-hand runs. The theme then appears in the treble while the left hand takes up the busywork. Next comes a burbling treatment that breaks the theme's phrases into little gestures like a brook splashing over rocks. A more serious, slow elaboration follows in a minor mode, but the main tune then returns in simple form in the left hand, with the treble producing a great deal of filigree. A bustling treatment comes next, but it eases off into a quiet ending.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Theme
    2. Variation 1
    3. Variation 2
    4. Variation 3
    5. Variation 4
    6. Variation 5
    7. Variation 6

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 Brilliant Classics 95301BR
    2014 Tuxedo TUX 1043
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94630
    2012 BIS BISSACD 1883
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94052
    2010 Decca
    2010 Naxos 857807374
    2009 Colosseum / Zebralution
    2008 DG Deutsche Grammophon 429072
    2008 Brilliant 93761
    2007 Cascade Records 2200
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93525
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93183
    2006 Globe 7002
    2005 Warner Classics
    2005 Children's Group 84396
    2005 Children's Group 84402
    2004 EMI Classics 85761
    2004 Haenssler 94048
    2004 Naxos 84381
    1997 DG Deutsche Grammophon 453 733-2GCB8
    1996 Philips 446920
    1995 Globe 5095
    1995 Pearl 9170
    1995 Biddulph Recordings 033
    1994 Naxos 550676
    1993 BMG 84207
    1992 Vox 3017
    Cascade Records 2233
    London 436834
    Brilliant Classics 93525/55
    Brilliant Classics 93183/2
    Teldec
    The Piano Library 329
    BMG 449418
    Musical Heritage Society 5266591