Concert review by Guido Krawinkel, November 18th 2019, General-Anzeiger Bonn
The word „unbelievable“ was heard from the lips of a concertgoer in the uni club after she had heard pianist Hanna Bachmann pound out the final piece of the Diabelli variations by Beethoven. This piano piece was the central point in a lecture recital with the theme „Ausgerechnet Diabelli“ which had been organized by Netzwerk Ludwig van B. And as a matter of fact it certainly was „unbelievable“, what Hanna Bachmann had achieved in the good fifty minutes before.
This work is a hard test not only for the pianist but also for the audience: the difficulties being exorbitant, the composition at times unwieldy, and to listen to it is a test of patience.
However, Bachmann and Andreas Eckhardt helped the audience by giving them the necessary know-how to master the task in hand: the purchase of the Diabelli variations’ autographs, which was made possible only after a concerted acquisition, fell during the time when Eckhardt was executive director of the Beethoven-Haus and which was subsequently a most significant step in the research of Beethoven. As Eckhardt mentions in his eloquent introduction „the acoustic aura of the creative piece can only be emanated from the autograph itself.“ Furthermore he outlined the genesis of the piece and accentuated the meaning of this acquisition among other things: „At this point in time there is no other more important and meaningful script of Beethoven’s known, which is available to buy.“
Hanna Bachmann was no less eloquent when she went into some of the 33 variations, of which only one should have been composed. And this one variation, which the publisher Anton Diabelli had requested from various composers of the time, was based on his self-composed waltz-theme. Beethoven let himself be pleaded with, and outplayed everyone in the end with his gigantic variation masterpiece. It was in safe hands with Bachmann, who, by the way, wrote her graduate thesis on the Diabelli variations. Naturally she was more than qualified to convey this musical cycle in word and sound. This double challenge made for a partly agitated execution in the second variation, however, she recovered quickly after the brisk beginning and mastered this giant piece with suspense and concentration.
You can find the original article here.