September 11, 2004

Musical Snacks

I get a lot of questions in the Tasty Bits (TM) mailsack like this one:

Tom, can you recommend any piano pieces for those times when I have a few minutes to kill, like when waiting for the babysitter to show up or just before starting to make dinner?

I sure can - Beethoven's Opus 119 and 126 Bagatelles. Charming little pieces, most of which barely last a minute if that. As the name implies, Beethoven just tossed these off as little essays. One of their virtues is the absense of any sense that the B-man was trying to prove something (which, IMHO, is a trait that haunts a good bit of his music). They are music simply for its own sake, pretty easy to play, but very satisfying nonetheless.

Posted by Robert at September 11, 2004 05:13 PM | TrackBack

IMHO, I don't think Ludwig was trying to make a point with most of his music as you suggest. In general, only in his "program" music was he so blatant, the most obvious being Wellington's Victory, the "Eroica", etc. In fact, that feeling he generates seems to me to be the problem with much of his music. People can't believe he could create such compositions without an "agenda", to use the modern phraseology. I think this is too bad. When listening myself, I find it best to lie back and let my own emotions be given free reign with the music rather than try to control them.
FYI, try this URL.

Posted by: O.F. at September 12, 2004 02:54 PM
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