Following on his acclaimed recordings of Beethoven’s sonatas, sonatinas and bagatelles, Ronald Brautigam here presents the first disc of four with variations, comprising works composed between 1796 and 1802.
The ‘Eroica variations’ Op.35 is on a much larger scale than any of the variations he had written before, and Beethoven himself described it as a work in ‘a wholly new style’.
Brautigam has used two different fortepianos on this recording: the earlier works are played on an instrument by Paul McNulty after Walter & Sohn c.1805, while the Op.35 set is performed on another by the same maker, after Conrad Graf c.1819.
“They are virtuoso works, and Ronald Brautigam, who tends to favour quick tempos, plays them in genuine virtuoso style, but without ever failing to bring out the music's more expressive moments...A must for those interested in the byways of Beethoven's keyboard music.” - BBC Music Magazine
“Brautigam's interpretations are stunning. He brings stylish character and life to each of the small variation sets and never misses a trick, so to speak...What breathtaking elan and point Brautigam brings to the flashy scales and biting trills throughout the [Salieri] Variations...He also gives one of the finest recorded performances of the Eroica Variations...Raise a glass to this terrific disc.” - Gramophone Magazine