Disk of 2024

Archive: 2024 2023 2022 | 2021 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Pianist Cedric Tiberghien - selections from the album ,,Complete Beethoven variations, vol. 2” - Music box, 22nd of January 2024

A disc released by Harmonia Mundi on the 12th of January 2024: the second volume of Beethoven's complete Beethoven Variations, performed by French pianist Cedric Tiberghien.

An interesting and courageous repertoire undertaking: the recording of all Beethoven's piano variations, together with other works related to these variations or to the idea of a theme with variations. The first volume, which I was also able to listen to on Radio România Muzical, was published on the 24th of March 2023 and was nominated for the International Classical Music Awards.

The central point of interest for this second volume is presented as the 32 variations in C minor by Ludwig van Beethoven on an original theme, a work written in 1806 that explores the artistic and technical possibilities of the piano in a challenging composition for interpretation. Cedric Tiberghien provides us with a sensitive, introverted, and somewhat philosophical version of these variations composed during the same period as Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Eroica, or his Violin Concerto.

An album from a series dedicated to Beethoven's piano variations - and an opportunity to discover lesser-known works from the repertoire of the titan from Bonn, such as the 24 variations on the theme of Vincenzo Maria Righini's arietta Venni amore. Beethoven composed these variations between 1790-1791, at the age of 20, while still residing in his hometown, Bonn. Righini, a now-forgotten composer who lived from 1765-1812, was the court composer in Mainz during that period and himself created a series of variations on the theme of this arietta; it is unknown how Beethoven came into possession of this theme. However, even from a young age, his variations bear the imprint of a great composer - though not as complex or concentrated as the 32 variations in C minor, they reveal a more down-to-earth quality, sometimes interpreted with a humorous touch by Cedric Tiberghien.

I consider a central point of interest in this album to be Johannes Brahms' arrangement exclusively for the left hand after the renowned Chaconne from the Partita in D minor, originally for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach.

This transcription, in fact, is little known and seldom performed, perhaps because it is so challenging to interpret such a substantial score using only the left hand on the piano.

In this work, the distinctive characteristics of this 48-year-old French pianist, with a vast international career, shine brightest: a unique sensitivity, an exceptionally elegant touch, and a profoundly poetic view of the world. These qualities enable Cedric Tiberghien to create a memorable rendition of this arrangement for the left hand after Johann Sebastian Bach's celebrated Chaconne for solo violin.

Cristina Comandașu