A native of Buenos Aires, pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim can, without exaggeration, be described as a living legend of classical music. He first appeared at the Prague Spring in 1966 with the English Chamber Orchestra – even back then he was introduced to audiences as both pianist and conductor. His next visit took place in 1986 with the Orchestre de Paris, where he was the chief conductor between 1975 and 1989. Recently he left an indelible mark on the hearts of the Czech public, when he opened the 2017 Prague Spring Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic, and for the occasion he performed Smetana’s cycle all over Europe, even continuing the performances in the following seasons.
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor Op. 13 "Pathétique"
- Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major Op. 53 "Waldstein"
- Ludwig van Beethoven: 33 Variations in C major on a Waltz by Diabelli Op. 120
- Daniel Barenboim - piano
For the closing concert of this year’s Rudolf Firkušný Piano Festival he will be performing a recital in honour of Ludwig van Beethoven – only a few days after this concert the world will be marking the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The evening will conclude with Beethoven’s great Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli. In 1819 the composer and music publisher Anton Diabelli composed a 32-bar waltz in C major and sent it to established Austrian composers with the hope that each would compose a single variation. About fifty of them accepted Diabelli’s challenge. One composer Diabelli approached was Beethoven, but instead of sending back a variation, he wrote thirty-three. The resulting work lasts an hour and climaxes with an enormous fugue. Alongside Bach’s Goldberg Variations, the Diabelli Variations constitute the pinnacle of the variation genre for keyboard instruments.