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Diabelli Variations

The Variations for piano in C major on a waltz by Diabelli, most commonly referred to as the Diabelli Variations, are a set of variations[?] for the piano by Ludwig van Beethoven on a waltz by Anton Diabelli. They were written from 1819 to 1823.

The piece came about after Diabelli, a well known music publisher as well as a composer, sent his waltz to a number of composers, asking each of them to write a variation on it. His intention was to publish all the variations in one volume, making a sort of anthology of what he saw as the most important composers of the time. Fifty composers responded, and their variations were published as Vaterländische Künstlerverein[?] (Patriotic Artists' Association). Beethoven, however, rather than writing just one variation, was so taken with the possibilities contained in the waltz that he wrote a set of thirty-three. Diabelli published Beethoven's variations in a separate volume to the rest. They are now seen as one of Beethoven's greatest piano pieces, as well as one of the finest sets of variations of their time.



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