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Hyperion Records

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House on the Water (1930) by Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Private Collection / Photo © Christie's Images / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67879
Recording details: July 2011
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: May 2012
Total duration: 1 minutes 8 seconds

'It's part of Osborne's personal excursion to seek the individual potency of each Bagatelle … the more you listen (aided by a plausibly lifelike recording), the clearer it'll become that Osborne has delved deep to extract so much from cameos that pack emotional enormity within small spaces' (Gramophone)

'The joy of having a player of Steven Osborne's spare, rhythmically incisive brilliance … these pieces display Beethoven's genius for creating artistic grandeur from the most miniature of pianistic forms' (The Observer)

'Steven Osborne plays with pearly, silky insouciance … 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 Daily Telegraph)

'Beautifully poised and unfailingly intelligent … the crystal clarity of Osborne's exquisitely polished pianism is an unalloyed joy to the ear' (International Record Review)

'Pure joy … Steven Osborne … plays with razor-sharp attack and articulation' (Pianist)

'Steven Osborne includes all the published bagatelles and some of the miscellaneous pieces and plays them superbly … a classy pianist' (Dominion Post, New Zealand)

'Steven Osborne's new CD of the Bagatelles, recorded with all the artistry and attention you expect from Hyperion, catches all the whimsy that Beethoven's title suggests' (The New Zealand Herald)

Bagatelle in B flat major, WoO60
composer
14 August 1818; first published in 1824 in the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, Berlin

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The spontaneous-sounding piece in B flat major WoO60 was sketched alongside Beethoven’s work on the Hammerklavier Sonata Op 106. Interestingly enough, Beethoven’s preliminary ideas for the Sonata’s finale include a fugue subject in the same ‘dotted’ rhythm as that of the little piano piece. It was first published in December 1824 in the Berlin Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, where it was described as ‘having been written by invitation on the afternoon of 14 August 1818 by Beethoven’. A second edition appeared the following year in the London Harmonicon, under the title of ‘Impromptu composed at the Dinner Table’; and some years after the composer’s death the Berlin publisher Heinrich Schlesinger issued it under the spurious title of Dernière pensée musicale de Louis van Beethoven.

from notes by Misha Donat © 2012

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