Imogen Cooper


Diabelli Variations

Performed by Beethoven

Chandos / CHAN 2020085 / Snape Maltings Concert Hall

“The album starts with a marvelous performance of the eleven Bagatelles, Op. 119. There couldn’t have been a better match with the variations, as this set is a bridge between the old and the new, with about half of the Bagatelles written early in Beethoven’s composition career, and the other half closer to the Diabelli variations (this set also includes two “afterthought” to the bigger work). Cooper’s way with the set is of a complete cycle, putting to rest the debate whether the Op. 119 is a single unit or a “two halves” creation, grouped together only for publication. The progression is very convincing indeed, with the key and mood changes projected as different angles of the same spirit, a great journey among a fascinating storyteller.”

The Classic Review