> Beethoven in overcoming personal crisis in 1802. Why crisis? 'Cause he was
> getting deaf. Happy tuning.
> But still, interesting choice. A not-quite-equal-tuning is especially
> rewarding in this particular set of variations, 'tis true.
> The Brodmann, however, has little to do with this time, and this work. Funny
> choice indeed.
Mark Lindley has given me a few pointers about the choice of
instrument. The recording was to be funded by the Berlin institute and
the money, of course, was much more efficiently employed by using one
of their own instruments. Of these, the 'Weber' piano of about 1810
is much the closest in date and geography. Brodmann was an established
builder in Vienna, the only question I can see is to what extent the
practice and sound changed through just under a decade.
I myself don't see the acoustic relevance of approaching deafness for
someone who knew quite well already what well- or badly-tuned pianos
sounded like (whether equal or unequal). The purpose of the
Variations, an entertaining and virtuoso piece as well as a musically
interesting one, being not only to overcome personal crisis, but to be
played to audiences in the best houses of Vienna?...