Variation on a theme by Anton Diabelli

Austrian born publisher and composer Anton Diabelli (1781 – 1858) wrote a 32 bar waltz, which he sent to leading male composers of the Austrian Empire, asking each to write a variation on it.   Fifty variations written by 50 (male) composers were consequently published by Diabelli.   In 2021, German musicologist, Claudia Bigos, set about asking women composers world wide to contribute to a project entitled “Diabelli Recomposed”.   The project culminated in the edition of the complete works (published by Furore Verlag): “Diabelli Recomposed: 50 Diabelli – Waltz Variations by Contemporary Women Composers from around the world.  Lydia’s variation, composed in August 2021, has been included in this edition.

Rather than basing itself on Diabelli’s melody or the 3/4 rhythm, Lydia’s variation centres on Diabelli’s left hand octave progressions as well as the tonic and dominant chord progressions, to which she added syncopated rhythms.  The structure of the two repeated parts has been retained, although in 4/4 time.  The first part is chordal and a little solemn.  The second part is made up of triplet arpeggios and is faster and lighter, adding to the overall dramatic and exciting effect.


Copyright © 2020 Lydia Kakabadse