Mystery, music and mortality | October 12, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - October 12, 2012

Mystery, music and mortality

TheatreWorks' production of '33 Variations' hits high notes

by Jeanie K. Smith

When noted music publisher Anton Diabelli in 1819 invites 50 well-known composers of his day to write a variation on a modest little waltz of his own, he hopes that Beethoven will contribute one. He could never anticipate that Beethoven, after initially rejecting the invitation, would insist on writing a total of 33 variations over a period of five years. Those 33, now known as the "Diabelli Variations," are sometimes called the best piano compositions ever written.

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