On 8 April, Decca Classics will release Mitsuko Uchida’s new recording of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. Among the most celebrated living interpreters of the music of the Classical period, Uchida captures on disc her interpretation of one of the greatest works in the piano repertoire.
Uchida’s live performances of the Diabelli Variations have been praised as “mesmerizing” by The Guardian, “dazzling” by The Arts Desk and “compelling to the end” by the New York Times. The new recording of the work was made at Snape Maltings in Suffolk, a concert hall with which Uchida feels a strong affinity.
Mitsuko Uchida, DBE, has recorded exclusively on Decca Classics and Philips across four decades. Her acclaimed discography, which includes the complete Mozart and Schubert piano sonatas, has earned her two Grammy Awards, a Gramophone Award and two BBC Music Magazine Awards. She is regarded as a peerless interpreter of the music of the First and Second Viennese Schools.
Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations stand alongside Bach’s Goldberg Variations as the pinnacle of the variation form. In 1819, the dilettante composer and publisher Antonio Diabelli commissioned around 50 of the leading composers in Vienna (including Franz Schubert) to compose variations on a theme he had written. Among them, Beethoven was at first dismayed by the quality of the theme (describing it as a “cobbler’s patch”) and scathing of such collaborative models of work. Yet, working intermittently on the set for six years, Beethoven was able to transform the mundane theme into one of the most sublime pieces of piano music ever written.
In the first half of 2022, Uchida will perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Riccardo Muti, The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Vladimir Jurowski. She will also embark on several tours of Europe and the USA in recital, with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (of which she is Artistic Partner), and – together with Mark Padmore – in a programme of Beethoven and Schubert Lieder.
Mitsuko Uchida’s full concert schedule can be found here.