Paul Lewis

Saturday 8 Jun 2019 7pm

Part of Aldeburgh Festival

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Haydn Sonata in E minor Hob XVI: 34 15’
Thomas Larcher Movement for Piano (Aldeburgh Festival commission, world premiere) 10’
Beethoven Diabelli Variations 60’
ends approximately 9pm

Composer-publisher Anton Diabelli hit the jackpot in 1819 when he invited every major composer in Germanspeaking Europe to submit a variation on his ‘patriotic’ waltz theme. Schubert, the 8-year-old Liszt and Archduke Rudolf of Austria all responded with a variation, fitting neatly into Diabelli’s planned publication.

Beethoven, however, composed not one but 33, elevating the variation form to its highest peak – and necessitating a whole publication of its own. Why did Diabelli’s simple waltz ignite such a spark in Beethoven?

Paul Lewis plays the Diabellis with a ‘sublime intensity’ (The Telegraph), immersing the listener in the changing moods, from boisterous humour and exuberance to subtle mystery.

Haydn’s Sonata provides a strong contrast with its gleaming brilliance and lightness of touch, while Festival Artist in Residence Thomas Larcher approaches his Aldeburgh commission with similar questions to those raised by the Diabellis:

‘What is a thought, an idea, an invention?

Where does the stream of developments come from, and what feeds it?

What is it, an idea? Where does it come from? Whose ideas have triggered mine? And whose triggered theirs?

When composing, one is an interface in an infinite and never-ending circuit of connections’

Thomas Larcher on writing Movement for Piano


Photo credit: Kaupo Kikkas