Midweek Bagatelles

Welcome! 🙂 I hope the daily music posts here on the blog are giving you a boost, in these strange and unsettling times. If you’re new to the series and would like to check out earlier posts, you’ll find the first one here.

Today’s post features two short Bagatelles by Ludwig van Beethoven. As I talked about in this post, Bagatelles are a “miniature” musical form that Beethoven was interested in throughout his life. While in other areas, like symphonies, concerti, and piano sonatas, Beethoven was expanding the scope of music, writing bigger and more complex pieces than anyone else had written before, he also remained fascinated by musical microcosms.

Both of today’s Bagatelles come from his Op. 119 set, which he wrote late in life. They’re both very short, just over a minute. They’re striking, though, in that the harmonies Beethoven uses belong much more to the Romantic era than the Classical era in which Beethoven was trained. These could be pieces written by composers of the next generation. We can see Beethoven breaking with the traditions of his own time period even in these very small works.

I learned and recorded both of these yesterday afternoon, so the recordings aren’t quite perfect. 😉 They do give a taste, though, of the changes Beethoven was making in the way music was written, and they give the flavor of these charming little pieces.

As always, you’re welcome to share your thoughts and responses to the music in the comments. Make sure to subscribe to the blog if you’d like a daily dose of music, and visit back soon!

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