Thursday, July 15, 2021
Beethoven composed variations throughout his life, choosing themes that reflected changing tastes and times. Many of the earlier variations were on arias from popular operas by Mozart, Paisiello, Salieri, and others. In 1802, he published the amazing "Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme".
This theme had fascinated Beethoven for years - he used it in his ballet "The Creatures of Prometheus" which appeared in 1800, and later in the finale of his Third Symphony - the "Eroica". Hence, Opus 35 is known as the "Eroica Variations".