In 1821, the publisher Anton Diabelli came up with the idea of requesting a number of composers to write one variation each on a given waltz theme. His intention was to issue them as an anthology. Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Franz Liszt were among those asked to contribute. Beethoven, however, preferred to write his own series of variations on Diabelli’s theme. The “33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli”, i.e. the “Diabelli Variations” op. 120, are a grandiose example of Beethoven’s art of variation. It is also Beethoven’s last major piano work, which he completed in the spring of 1823 and issued in print that same year. The great pianist Hans von Bülow saw in the “Diabelli Variations” a “microcosm of Beethoven’s genius, indeed even an image of the whole world of music in summary”.