Diabelli and Gramophone
Following up to my own post on the Diabelli variations and the addendum with the input from Classica here, now my other favorite classical music magazine, Gramophone, in their recently released August edition, has tried to identify the best version of the Diabelli-Variations.
I’m glad to report that my personal preference, Andreas Staier, gets a special mention as “Period-Instrument Choice”, and therefore one of the four recommended versions out of more than 80. Staier’s ECM also gets a honorable mention.
A live recording from Rudolf Serkin gets the “Historic Choice”, Olli Mustonen’ RCA recording get’s the “Iconoclastic Choice” (the recording is on Qobuz streaming, so I’ll check it out later).
But their top-choice unfortunately is on the Onyx label, which is more restrictive on streaming, so I haven’t heard it yet. It is the 2008 recording by Stephen Kovacevich. Given that he started his career with this work in 1961, I’m not too surprised about this choice. Worth checking out, and on my list to purchase in the near future.