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Beethoven: Bagatelles


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Audio CD, April 9, 2006
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Beethoven: Bagatelles + Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Vol. 6: Op. 109, 110, 111 + Piano Sonatas 7
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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These 26 "nuggets of momentary inspiration," written at various times from Beethoven's teenage years to his later maturity, show incredible variety of mood, inventiveness, and technical complexity. John O'Conor, one of the world's premier Beethoven interpreters, takes us on a thoroughly splendid adventure, revealing these pieces as far more than the "trifles" that some pianists mistake them for. --David Vernier

1. Bagatelle In C Minor WoO 52: Presto
2. No. 1 In E Flat Major: Andante Grazioso, Quasi Allegretto
3. No. 2 In C Major: Scherzo Allegro
4. No. 3 In F Major: Allegretto
5. No. 4 In A Major: Andate
6. No. 5 In C Major: Allegro, Ma Non Troppo
7. No. 6 In D Major: Allegretto Quasi Andante
8. No. 7 In A Flat Major: Presto
9. Bagatelle In C Major, WoO 56: Allegretto
10. No. 1 In G Minor: Allegretto
11. No. 2 In C Major: Andante Con Moto
12. No. 3 In D Major: A L'Allemande
13. No. 4 In A Major: Andante Cantabile
14. No. 5 In C Minor: Risoluto
15. No. 6 In G Major: Andante - Allegro
16. No. 7 In C Major: Allegro, Ma Non Troppo
17. No. 8 In C Major: Moderato Cantabile
18. No. 9 In A Minor: Vivace Moderato
19. No. 10 In A Major: Allegramente
20. No. 11 In B Flat Major: Andante, Ma Non Troppo
See all 26 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: John O'Conor
  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Audio CD (April 9, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003D1Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,182 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. Seymour on March 19, 2002
Let's face it. Beethoven's bagatelles are not the brooding, electric show-pieces as are his sonotas. They are 180 degrees different: delightfully light-hearted and free-spirited. They are so delicate that, except for the technique, you wouldn't think they sprung from the agitated mind of Beethoven. The lovely, but ubiquitous, Fur Elise is not among this set. That's fine with me, but if you like the playful, tender style of Fur Elise, then the 26 pieces found here will be right up your alley. Telarc has always been exceptional when capturing the piano on disc. O'conor's light touch gives the bagatelles the appropriate weight and he breezes through them like the wind through the leaves. This collection is one of my favorite piano recordings. Rather like champagne bubbles, these pieces gently tickle your senses.
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Beethoven's piano sonatas loom above all else he wrote for the piano and as a consequence not a lot of attention is paid to his bagatelles, a group of twenty-six short pieces which he wrote over a very long period, the earliest begun in 1783, the last six (Op. 126) in 1824, the last piano pieces he wrote before his final piano work, the Diabelli Variations. The term 'bagatelle', denoting a short piece, was apparently first used by Couperin in 1717. Beethoven's use of the term however is a little surprising, as there was no common use of the term in Austro-German music during his time. But his bagatelles set the stage for one of the most important genres of piano music in the 19th century, the so-called 'character piece', including such things as Mendelssohn's 'Songs Without Words' and Schumann's sets such as 'Kinderszenen'.

Beethoven's bagatelles do not attempt to limn particular scenes or moods, and none has a descriptive title, but each tends nonetheless to convey a general feeling. The first, for instance, is a graceful ABA trifle in E Flat which seems to depict a gentle, even playful, scene. The second is a Scherzo in C major, its first section followed at once by a section in A minor. Its Trio has passages of ascending thirds followed by a final syncopated version of the first material. And so it goes throughout all three sets of bagatelles (Opps 33, 119, 126). Each has its own character, each has its own charms. There are some notable things along the way. For instance, the second of the Op. 119 set has hand-crossing (both right over left, and left over right) à la Scarlatti. The tenth of that set is furiously fast and syncopated, lasting only about twelve seconds! The Op.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Music Man on March 14, 2009
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O'conor's Beethoven disks are consistently good. He doesn't overplay the Bagatelles (or the sonatas) but gives them the warmth and richness they deserve. Of course, the Telarc recording and the Hamburg Steinway don't hurt.
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You see the lyrical and fun-loving side of Beethoven in these pieces, played by perhaps the world's greatest interpreter of his piano music.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Davide on March 25, 2013
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Item in great conditions and fast shipping. The recording quality of the tracks is state of the art (of course on a Hi-end system)
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