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Diabelli Variations

American pianist David Korevaar completes his Beethoven project and will appear in a virtual recital at Snake River Music Festival with violinist Charles Wetherbee

 

On 8 August 2020, pianist David Korevaar presented the final installment of his Beethoven 250 in the Time of Covid 19 YouTube Project with Beethoven's 33 Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli Op 120. The complete series is now available to watch on his YouTube channel.

Korevaar crafted the idea for his Beethoven project as he found his April performances of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 4 canceled due to COVID-19. Searching for a unique alternative to celebrate the composer's 250th birthday, Korevaar embraced the virtual recital format. Recording from his living room with minimal equipment, Korevaar set himself a personal challenge to perform, record and share all thirty-two Beethoven Piano Sonatas in sixty days. Forty-one days into the project, Korevaar met his goal and decided to expand his Beethovenian horizons-learning some new non-Sonata works, and revisiting some old friends, especially among the variations sets, culminating with the Diabelli Variations.

David Korevaar. Photo © Matthew Dine
David Korevaar. Photo © Matthew Dine

In explaining why he chose the Diabelli Variations as the finale of his Beethoven project, Korevaar says 'Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, Op 120, is the last large-scale work he completed for the piano - and it is the largest of all, longer than even the great Hammerklavier Sonata, Op 106, weighing in at about fifty-two minutes of music. In terms of compositional ambition, virtuosity, brilliance and beauty, Beethoven outdoes himself, making this work a marvelous capstone to his output for piano, and a capstone to my own Beethoven project.' Recognized for his remarkable insight into the piano works of Beethoven, later this month Korevaar will be featured on a series of interview segments dedicated to various aspects of Beethoven's piano writing for Colorado Public Radio.

Upcoming projects include a virtual recital for the Snake River Music Festival/Dercum Center on 30 August 2020 at 12 noon Mountain Time - 2pm ET, 6pm UCT/GMT. Hosted by Colorado Public Radio host David Ginder, with Korevaar's frequent collaborator, American violinist Charles Wetherbee, the concert can be heard on demand at www.dercumcenter.com. They will present an English-themed program including Afro-British romantic composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Sonata in D minor, Op 28, Edward Elgar's Violin Sonata in E minor, Op 82, Arnold Bax's Legend for violin and piano, as well as short works by William Walton and Edward Elgar. Korevaar is also working on his next solo virtual recital of works of composers of color, including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Scott Joplin, R Nathaniel Dett, Florence Price and Margaret Bonds.

Korevaar and Wetherbee were featured as part of the Snake River Music Festival in a series of three virtual recitals from the University of Colorado Boulder's Grusin Hall in June 2020. The concerts featured Schubert's Rondo in B minor, D 895, Brahms' Sonata No 2 in A, Op 100, De Falla's Suite populaire espagnole, Poulenc's Sonata, Dohnányi's Violin Sonata, Op 21, Saint Saëns' rarely heard Sonata No 2, Op 102, Clara Schumann's Three Romances, Op 22, three of Sarasate's Spanish Dances, the virtuoso solo violin caprice Charred in a Minute by Korine Fujiwara, the Romances for violin and piano by Dvořák and Amy Beach, as well as salon favorites by Fritz Kreisler. The programs can be accessed on demand at www.dercumcenter.com. As part of the 2020 Virtual Colorado MahlerFest last month, Korevaar performed Schubert's Piano Sonata in B flat, D 960, which can be viewed at mahlerfest.org/mahlerfest-online/korevaar-and-schubert/

Hailed for his 'wonderfully warm, pliant, spontaneous playing' by the Washington Post, award winning pianist David Korevaar is in demand as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborator. His active career includes appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Japan's Shonan Chamber Orchestra, Brazil's Goiania Symphony, and with acclaimed conductors including Guillermo Figueroa, Per Brevig, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Jorge Mester. A passionate and committed collaborator, Korevaar is a founding member of the Boulder Piano Quartet, currently in residence at The Academy in Boulder. He is a regular guest with the Takács Quartet, and recently performed with them on the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center. Recent releases include highly praised world premiere recordings of Lowell Liebermann and the largely forgotten Italian impressionist composer Luigi Perrachio. He returned to the recording studio earlier this season to record Richard Danielpour's The Celestial Circus for two pianos and three percussionists with pianist Angelina Gadeliya.

Korevaar and Wetherbee, both faculty members of the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music, have a long history of concertizing and recording together. Last fall the duo released two recordings including an album dedicated to the works of Iranian-American composer Reza Vali, which AllMusic praised as 'an important release in the field of 20th century chamber music', and a disc of three violin sonatas by Russian/German composer Paul Juon in which American Record Guide recognized the duo as 'expert, sensitive, and committed performers who bring this forgotten music to vivid life'.

Posted 12 August 2020 by Genevieve Spielberg

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DAVID KOREVAAR'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL

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