Day 253: Piano Variations IV, Bagatelles I

BeethovenCD58There are 45 tracks on today’s CD. I’m not going to list them all.

They’re broken up into two sections, however.

I will list those:

33 Variations in C Op. 120

11 Bagatelles Op. 119

I’m not a fan of variations CDs that contain so many tracks. It’s hard for me to appreciate or get into compositions that only last a minute or so.

I will say Track 3 (“Poco allegro”) reminded me of Dave Brubeck. It had a Boogie-Woogie jazz feel to it.

The rest of these tracks, although well crafted, don’t interest me. They’re not long enough in which to immerse myself.

Day 111: Would You Believe…Jazz?

HaydnCD111Today’s CD is a bittersweet one for me: It’s the last of Haydn’s piano trios.

I’ve grown accustomed to Haydn’s trios. At first, I wasn’t sure I’d like them. They seemed rudimentary and shallow. But his Later Trios period contains awe-inspiring compositions; like today’s selection, for example.

I was totally blown away by Movement III (“Presto”) of Piano trio in C HOB XV:27. What an astonishing piece of work, especially for pianist Bart van Oort, whose fingers must have been exhausted by the time the movement ended.

The performance on this piece reminds me of famed pianist Glenn Gould. When Gould’s fingers get flying it’s Glenn_Gould_1something to behold.

Three of today’s trios (Nos. 27–29) are nicknamed “Bartolozzi Trios” and are dedicated to Theresa Jansen (Bartolozzi). From the Wiki article:

Therese Jansen Bartolozzi (ca. 1770 – 1843) was an eminent pianist whose career flourished in London around the end of the 18th century. She was the dedicatee of piano works by a number of famous composers.

That explains why these piano trios are heavy on the piano. They were written for someone who has extraordinary skill. They could be played by no other.

Another standout trio: Movement II (“Allegretto”) from Piano Trio in E HOB XV:28. I swear I’m listening to jazz. The phrasing, the seeming random placement of notes (as if improvised). This is jazz, dudes and dudettes. Haydn created jazz some two centuries before it was supposedly invented in America.

I’ve never heard a piece of Classical music like this Continue reading