Ronald Brautigam – Beethoven: Complete Works For Solo Piano Vol. 10 (2011)

Artist: Ronald Brautigam
Title: Beethoven: Complete Works For Solo Piano Vol. 10 – The Complete Bagatelles
Year Of Release: 2011
Label: BIS
Genre: Classical
Quality: FLAC (image + .cue, log, scans)
Total Time: 71:07 min
Total Size: 288 MB


Tracklist:
01. Bagatelles (7) for piano, Op. 33: 1. Andante grazioso, quasi allegretto
02. Bagatelles (7) for piano, Op. 33: 2. Scherzo. Allegro
03. Bagatelles (7) for piano, Op. 33: 3. Allegretto
04. Bagatelles (7) for piano, Op. 33: 4. Andante
05. Bagatelles (7) for piano, Op. 33: 5. Allegro, ma non troppo
06. Bagatelles (7) for piano, Op. 33: 6. Allegretto, quasi andante (Con una certa espressione parlante)
07. Bagatelles (7) for piano, Op. 33: 7. Presto
08. Allegretto for piano in C minor, Hess 69
09. Bagatelle for piano in C major, Hess 73
10. Bagatelle for piano in E flat major, Hess 74
11. Allegretto for piano in C minor, WoO 53
12. Andante for piano in C major, Biamonti 52
13. Piece for piano in C major/C minor (‘Lustig – traurig’), WoO 54
14. Allegretto for piano in C major (‘Bagatelle’), WoO 56
15. Bagatelle for piano in C minor, WoO 52
16. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 1. Allegretto
17. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 2. Andante con moto
18. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 3. a l’Allemande
19. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 4. Andante cantabile
20. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 5. Risoluto
21. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 6. Andante – Allegretto
22. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 7. Allegro, ma non troppo
23. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 8. Moderato cantabile
24. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 9. Vivace moderato
25. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 10. Allegramente
26. Bagatelles (11) for piano, Op. 119: 11. Andante, ma non troppo
27. Bagatelle for piano in A minor (‘Fur Elise’), WoO 59
28. Bagatelle for piano in B flat major, WoO 60
29. Allegretto for piano in B minor, WoO 61
30. Allegretto quasi andante for piano in G minor, WoO 61a
31. Bagatelle for piano in C major, Hess 57 (draft)
32. Bagatelles (6) for piano, Op. 126: 1. Andante con moto
33. Bagatelles (6) for piano, Op. 126: 2. Allegro
34. Bagatelles (6) for piano, Op. 126: 3. Andante
35. Bagatelles (6) for piano, Op. 126: 4. Presto
36. Bagatelles (6) for piano, Op. 126: 5. Quasi allegretto
37. Bagatelles (6) for piano, Op. 126: 6. Presto – Andante amabile e con moto – Tempo 1

Dutch pianist Ronald Brautigam, looking for all the world like an aging rock star with his long platinum hair, has recorded a series of Beethoven works on historically appropriate instruments for the Swedish label BIS; this release is part of that series. The idea of recording Beethoven’s complete Bagatelles (the word means "trifles") is a novel one because it’s hard to agree on exactly what constitutes a bagatelle. The famous Fur Elise, WoO 59, for instance, wasn’t called a bagatelle by Beethoven, but it has much in common with the works so designated: it is short, not in sonata form, and not of an overly serious cast. Beethoven published three sets of pieces called Bagatelles, but only the third, one of Beethoven’s late masterworks, was planned from the start as a set. The advantage of Brautigam’s inclusive approach is that he gets to some very rare pieces, not only those listed with WoO (Werke ohne Opuszahl, or Works Without Opus Number) numbers, but even a few listed with Hess numbers after a musicologist who cataloged lost Beethoven works. The Bagatelle in C major, Hess 57, for instance, is contemporaneous with the Op. 126 set and is a genuine piece of lost late Beethoven, a contrapuntal but humorously abrupt piece that has much in common with the mood of the String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135. Brautigam uses a pair of pianos, a good idea inasmuch as the music on the album spans a quarter century. Both are modern replicas of historical instruments, made by American-Czech builder Paul McNulty; one is of a ca. 1805 Walter instrument and the other of a piano ca. 1819 from the Graf workshop. The historical pianos have some very surprising effects in some pieces. Sample the second section of the Presto from the Seven Bagatelles, Op. 33, where upper-register arpeggios seem like offstage echoes responding to loud, abrupt bass notes. Brautigam takes most of the pieces at quick tempos, none more so than the Andante of the Six Bagatelles, Op. 126 (track 34), which comes in at Moderato or perhaps even Allegro. In general, though, he has a good feel for the weirdly experimental quality of many of these pieces, some of which were rejected rough drafts for movements of longer works. Beethoven seems to have worked out structural ideas in many of these little works, slight as they may seem, and Brautigam’s brisk, serious approach brings this out. There’s much, if intermittently, to attract the listener here, and one main attraction is the BIS label’s magical Super Audio sound. — James Manheim

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