Ether Game

Beethoven: 12 Variations on a Russian Dance

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: Just something off the top of the head

Instrumental virtuosos of the late eighteenth-century were expected to have an instinctive command of certain skills, especially the ability to improvise on a moment’s notice. Although we know him primarily as a composer, Beethoven’s early career saw him in the ranks of the very best performers of his time, and his command of improvisation was legendary. In all, Beethoven composed over twenty sets of piano variations. These served two purposes: they showed off his performing skills; and they helped him explore what could be done with the very essence of a theme. These exercises honed the composer’s skills in thematic development, which bore fruit in his later large-scale works, many of which feature entire movements in variation form.

Music Heard On This Episode

Ludwig van Beethoven: 12 Variations on a Russian Dance
Emil Gilels — Beethoven: Piano Variations (EMI Classics, 1996)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Ludwig van Beethoven: 12 Variations on a Russian Dance
Emil Gilels — Beethoven: Piano Variations (EMI Classics, 1996)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Ether Game:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Ether Game

Search Ether Game

Ether Game is on Twitter