1

In Andreas Staier recording of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, there is some weird stuff going on throughout variations 22 and 23 (recording here starts at var 22). It sounds like there's paper between the strings for some parts of var 22 (or a kazoo?), and he borrowed the percussion section of an orchestra for some bits of var 23.

Does anyone know the inside scoop? The buzziness in var 22 seems like a nod to the opening bars of Don Giovanni (indeed, the variation is known as "Allegro molto, alla « Notte e giorno faticar » di Mozart"). It reminded me of the fagotti that back up Leporello during his opening complaint "Notte e giorno faticar". Anything to back up this wild speculation? What about the cymbal crashes apparent in var 23?

2

The effects you're asking about are built into the piano itself, activated by pedals. So, "prepared" in the early 19th-century sense (specialty pedals were all the rage), but not in the modern John Cage sense.

This concert review (https://bachtrack.com/review-wigmore-hall-andreas-staier-diabelli-variations) mentions the pedals involved (other CD reviews corroborate), and you can see a demonstration of the Janissary (Turkish purcussion) pedal here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OjYKvl5raM

For anyone interested in more about these types of pedals, Wikipedia provides a fair starting point (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_pedals#Novelty_pedals), with references for further reading.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.