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2021 Listening Project - Jan 20

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* Jan 20 & 22, 2021

Andras Schiff, piano

This is a 1986 recording with eight different pieces. I've owned this for a long time, and always enjoyed it.

There are two sets of variations, 10 on "Twinkle Twinkle, and 12 on "Unser dummer Pöbel meint". I do like the Twinkle Twinkle ones, though I was once told by a (with hindsight snooty) pianist that they are actually really boring. I admit that this time I thought the 12 on "Unser dummer Pöbel meint" were better. But a nice thing about the Twinkle Twinkle ones are that the tune is *so* familiar and simple that it's easier to hear what the variations are actually doing. Neither are as interesting as the Goldberg Variations to me, and I think Bach's idea of ending with the original version is a better choice then ending with a variation. But maybe you have to be as good as Bach to pull that off?

There are a few nice, short, pretty, pieces that don't seem all that profound to me: A Gigue (K.574) with some odd harmonies, an Adagio for Glass Harmonica (K.356), a Minuet (K.540), and another Minuet (K.355/576b), which the liner notes describes as "odd" for a Mozart piece. I don't really understand why, but I guess there are some dissonant chords?

The three remaining pieces are longer: an Andante (K.616), a Rondo (K.511), and an Adagio (K.540). All are good, but I think I prefer the Rondo.