Beethoven Complete Bagatelles

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Hyperion Records CDA67879 | 67'02

Buy from Amazon UK | US


Beethoven wrote his Op 119 Bagatelles – 11 short pieces each lasting no more than a minute or two – when he was working on two of his biggest works: the Missa Solemnis and the Ninth Symphony. His Leipzig publisher complained that they were such insignificant trifles no one would believe they were by Beethoven: not only slight but on the whole easy too.
The joy of having a player of Steven Osborne's spare, rhythmically incisive brilliance shows the idiocy of the publisher's words. These pieces, together with the early Op 33 and – his last work for piano – the Op 126 display Beethoven's genius for creating artistic grandeur from the most miniature of pianistic forms.

The Observer


Steven Osborne's new CD of the Bagatelles, recorded last July with all the artistry and attention you expect from Hyperion, catches all the whimsy that Beethoven's title suggest. The Scottish pianist skims over the keys in the shortest number - the 11 seconds of Opus 119 no 10 - yet, when the composer lays on a flurry of incident, he is ingenious at making it hang together. The dotted rhythms of Op 33 no 2 seem to suggest white-hot keys; for the interludes in between, Osborne balances ambling folkiness with mock serioso intent.
You can hear Beethoven laughing here, whether in the gruff octaves and counterpoint of Op 126 no 4, or in the many others in which textures chop and change so unpredictably that it all borders on collage. Here we see Beethoven the improv meister of his time, and Osborne conveys all the excitement that comes with such scattergun invention, cleverly using pedal to suggest that simple harmonies might not be as straightforward as they seem.
One of my favourites is the Landler of Opus 119 no 8, a Landler innocent on the surface but harbouring enough slippery key changes to fuel a few pages of Wagner.
This album comes with two bonuses. One is a half-dozen works without opus number, including an enigmatic 31-second Allegro quasi Andante and the popular Fur Elise, delivered with a telling simplicity.
The other bonus is the booklet illustration. Paul Klee's 1930 House on the Water is perfect, echoing the sometimes radical music of another age in its subtle colour shifts and geometric play.

The New Zealand Herald


This disc follows on from his one of Beethoven sonatas, and it ignites a similar joy in the way that he conveys ideas so lucidly and with such subtle shades of tone, distilling the essence of each miniature with potency and freshness.

The Telegraph






Beethoven Complete Bagatelles
  • Seven Bagatelles op.33
     

  • No 1 in E flat major: Andante grazioso, quasi allegretto
     

  • No 2 in C major: Scherzo. Allegro – Trio
     

  • No 3 in F major: Allegretto
      

  • No 4 in A major: Andante
     

  • No 5 in C major: Allegro ma non troppo
     

  • No 6 in D major: Allegretto quasi andante
     

  • No 7 in A flat major: Presto
      

  • Eleven Bagatelles Op 119
     

  • No 1 in G minor: Allegretto
     

  • No 2 in C major: Andante con moto
     

  • No 3 in D major: À l'Allemande
     

  • No 4 in A major: Andante cantabile
      

  • No 5 in C minor: Risoluto
     

  • No 6 in G major: Andante – Allegretto
      

  • No 7 in C major: Allegro ma non troppo
     

  • No 8 in C major: Moderato cantabile
      

  • No 9 in A minor: Vivace moderato
     

  • No 10 in A major: Allegramente
      

  • No 11 in B flat major: Andante ma non troppo
      

  • Six Bagatelles Op 126
     

  • No 1 in G major: Andante con moto
      

  • No 2 in G minor: Allegro
     

  • No 3 in E flat major: Andante
     

  • No 4 in B minor: Presto
      

  • No 5 in G major: Quasi allegretto
      

  • No 6 in E flat major: Presto – Andante amabile e con moto – Tempo I
     

  • Allegretto quasi andante in G minor WoO61a
      

  • Bagatelle in C major WoO56
     

  • Bagatelle in C minor WoO52
     

  • Bagatelle in B flat major WoO60
      

  • Allegretto in B minor WoO61
     

  • Klavierstück in A minor 'Für Elise' WoO59
      

 
Currently playing >
  1. Prélude – The Naumburg Foundation Presents: Steven Osborne • Ravel
  2. No 14: Duettino – Alkan: Esquisses, Op 63
  3. VIII Miserere d'après Palestrina – Franz Liszt: Harmonies poétiques et religieuses
  4. Schubert-Sonata in Bb D960 3rd movement
  5. Allegro precipitato – Mussorgsky - Pictures from an Exhibition
  6. Pavane pour une infante défunte – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  7. À la manière de Chabrier – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  8. Une barque sur l'océan – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  9. Presto agitato – Beethoven Piano Sonatas
  10. Menuet – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  11. Animé – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  12. Regard des hauteurs – Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jésus
  13. Feuilles mortes – Debussy: The Complete Preludes
  14. No 1 in G major: Andante con moto – Beethoven Complete Bagatelles
  15. Slow pulse – Tippett: Complete Music for Piano (Piano Sonatas 1-4, Piano Concerto)
  16. Variation VII: Badinerie – Britten: Complete works for Piano and Orchestra
  17. Première communion de la Vierge – Olivier Messiaen: Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jésus
  18. Jeux d'eau – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  19. Con una dolce lentezza – Mussorgsky - Pictures from an Exhibition
  20. Grave - Allegro di molto e con brio – Beethoven Piano Sonatas
  21. Animato – Mussorgsky - Pictures from an Exhibition
  22. Crumb - Processional – Feldman, Crumb piano works
  23. No 9 – Nikolai Kapustin Piano Music
  24. Allegro – Shostakovich and Schnittke Cello Sonatas
  25. Canticle of the Holy Night – Feldman, Crumb piano works
  26. No 5 in G major: Quasi allegretto – Beethoven Complete Bagatelles
  27. Allegretto – Beethoven Piano Sonatas
  28. Menuet in C sharp minor – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  29. Pittoresco – Mussorgsky - Pictures from an Exhibition
  30. No 1 in F minor: Allegro moderato – Schubert Impromptus, Piano Pieces and Variations
  31. Variations on an original theme in Ab major D813 – Schubert piano duets
  32. Les fées sont d’exquises danseuses – Debussy: The Complete Preludes
  33. Rigaudon – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  34. Noctuelles – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  35. Andantino varié in B minor D823 – Schubert piano duets
  36. Promenade 1 – Mussorgsky - Pictures from an Exhibition
  37. Feux d’artifice – Debussy: The Complete Preludes
  38. VIf – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  39. Toccata – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  40. Scarbo – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  41. Limoges, the market place – Mussorgsky - Pictures from an Exhibition
  42. Introduction – Turangalîla-Symphonie
  43. No 9 in A major – Rachmaninov preludes
  44. Brahms 2nd piano concerto, 4th movement
  45. Piano Sonata No 2 (1962) – Tippett: Complete Music for Piano (Piano Sonatas 1-4, Piano Concerto)
  46. Ondine – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  47. Prélude – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  48. La Valse – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  49. III. Andante – Prokofiev Works for Violin and Piano
  50. Allegro rubato – Mussorgsky - Pictures from an Exhibition
  51. Allegro in A minor 'Lebensstürme' D947 – Schubert piano duets
  52. No 1 in C major – Rachmaninov preludes
  53. Modéré – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  54. No 15 – Nikolai Kapustin Piano Music
  55. Mendelssohn 1st piano concerto, 2nd movement
  56. The Great Gate of Kiev – Mussorgsky - Pictures from an Exhibition
  57. II. Andante un poco adagio – Brahms and Rózsa clarinet sonatas
  58. No 29: Délire – Alkan: Esquisses, Op 63
  59. No 7 in C minor – Rachmaninov preludes
  60. Oiseaux tristes – The Naumburg Foundation Presents: Steven Osborne • Ravel
  61. Fantasie in F minor D940 – Schubert piano duets
  62. IV. Vivace – Brahms and Rózsa clarinet sonatas
  63. No 18: Liedchen – Alkan: Esquisses, Op 63
  64. Allegro – Nikolai Kapustin Piano Music
  65. I. Andante – Prokofiev Works for Violin and Piano
  66. Rondo giocoso con moto – Tippett: Complete Music for Piano (Piano Sonatas 1-4, Piano Concerto)
  67. Menuet antique – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  68. II. Allegro brusco – Prokofiev Works for Violin and Piano
  69. No 3 in F major: Allegretto – Beethoven Complete Bagatelles
  70. Allegro capriccioso ma tempo giusto – Stravinsky - Complete works for piano and orchestra
  71. Larghissimo – Stravinsky - Complete works for piano and orchestra
  72. No 25: La Poursuite – Alkan: Esquisses, Op 63
  73. No 30: Petit air dolent – Alkan: Esquisses, Op 63
  74. No 21: Morituri te salutant – Alkan: Esquisses, Op 63
  75. No 8 in A minor – Rachmaninov preludes
  76. Toccata – Britten: Complete works for Piano and Orchestra
  77. Allegro non troppo – Tippett: Complete Music for Piano (Piano Sonatas 1-4, Piano Concerto)
  78. No 7 in A flat major: Presto – Beethoven Complete Bagatelles
  79. Variation VI: Nocturne – Britten: Complete works for Piano and Orchestra
  80. Allegro non troppo - Largo – Shostakovich and Schnittke Cello Sonatas
  81. Feldman - Palais de Mari – Feldman, Crumb piano works
  82. Jardin du sommeil d'amour – Turangalîla-Symphonie
  83. No 4 in D major – Rachmaninov preludes
  84. Adagio sostenuto – Beethoven Piano Sonatas
  85. Oiseaux tristes – Ravel - The Complete Solo Piano Music
  86. Vivace – Tippett: Complete Music for Piano (Piano Sonatas 1-4, Piano Concerto)