Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations represent one of the greatest works for solo piano ever to be written. Throughout this monumental work, Beethoven dazzles us with his ability to make Diabelli’s theme become anything he wants it to be. Diabelli’s waltz has often been dismissed as rather primitive, even by Beethoven himself. The theme is, therefore, a wonderful example of the irrelevance of where a great composer’s musical material comes from, and the corresponding importance of how the composer manipulates and develops that material. Just as composers of the Renaissance could build profound Mass settings from trivial secular tunes, so Beethoven develops a vast musical edifice from an apparently unlikely source. The sheer variety of musical directions which he finds possible in a set of variations is breathtaking. At times he seems to confront, even mock, the rustic nature of Diabelli’s theme, but in the next breath transforms it into something dignified and sublime.
For award-winning pianist Muriel Chemin, these variations are really “transformations” and, alongside Beethoven’s sonatas, have become an integral part of her repertoire. She is considered one of the most convincing and original interpreters of Beethoven and Mozart, described by Hervé Pennven as: “Simply one of the best interpreters of Beethoven in the world.”
“The stylistic choices of Muriel Chemin… fully grasp the pivotal role that Beethoven occupies between Classicism and Romanticism. Musical intelligence, clarity in the reproduction of the structure and fluidity of the text, and all with an amazing emotional accuracy”. Diapason
“A superb musical personality […]” Classica
“[…] the combination of rigour, richness and analytical awareness are astonishing”. Le Monde de la Musique
“Her clarity, precision, dynamism and artistic authoritativeness are formidable”. Repertoire