Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Downloads available from

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Complete works for Solo Piano - Vol. 10

Sieben Bagatellen Op.33 (1802) [18:53]
Bagatelles 1795-1804 [15:28]
Elf neue Bagatellen Op.119 (1820-22) [13:17]
Bagatelles 1810-25 [7:21]
Sechs Bagatellen Op.126 (1823-24) [15:16]
Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano)
rec. ÖsterÅker Church, Sweden, August 2010
BIS-SACD-1882 [71:07]

Experience Classicsonline

Für Elise is cited on the cover of this release, and the booklet notes begin with a couple of paragraphs on the equality of popularity of this tune with the Ode an die Freude, and the contrast in creative gestation between these melodies. There is speculation as to what a ‘complete’ survey of Beethoven’s Bagatelles might be, as only the Opp. 33, 119 and 126 were published in his lifetime, and by no means all the miscellany of unpublished works gathered together after his death have titles or are defined as Bagatelles as such. What all of these pieces have in common is an avoidance of the standard forms characteristic of the first movement in a sonata from this period. In his booklet notes Roeland Hazendonk remarks that the Bagatelles not only hark back to pre-classical suite movements, but were also an enticing fore-runner of the character pieces which Romantic composers after Beethoven used to break free from the classical roots of tonality to which Beethoven still adhered in his sonatas.
With a programme which covers pretty much the entirety of Beethoven’s creative lifetime, Ronald Brautigam has recorded the first half of this CD on a fortepiano from c.1805, and the second half, including Für Elise, on another fine Paul McNulty made reproduction from c.1819. The differences aren’t huge, with the later instrument having a fuller bass and richer treble, though both instruments having an extremely fine sound. The point has been made for this series before but it’s worth making again. The forerunners of the modern metal-framed grand pianos of today have lower string tension and a smaller volume in general, but as Paul McNulty and Ronald Brautigam amply prove here and elsewhere, these instruments can whip up a real storm. These Bagatelles are by no means all light and easy charmers, and the Bagatelle in C minor WoO 53 on track 11 is a case in point; a wide-ranging study on an innocent sounding theme which is brought through moments of Schubertian turbulence.
One of the nice features with these instruments and some of these pieces is the appearance and use of the soft pedal – a real damper rather than just a shift from three to two strings as with a modern grand. The third of the Sieben Bagatellen Op.33 has this effect for instance, the soft pedalled moments appearing as a kind of echo. As you might expect with Beethoven, these ‘echoes’ never appear in quite the key you might expect, creating an even greater effect of other-worldliness.
Für Elise itself is played with great subtlety and charm, and without any attempt to make more of it than the piece demands – even people who are heartily sick of the work should find themselves falling back in love with it from this performance. Anyone doubting the appeal of an album filled entirely with Bagatelles should think again. The range of pieces here is staggering, from miniature sketches the shortest of which is only 11 seconds long, to rich and far-reaching movements which cover masses of territory both emotional and technical. Particularly the Sechs Bagatellen Op.126, Beethoven’s last published work for piano, contain some remarkable music. Anyone with an interest in the sonatas and Beethoven’s late ‘problem-and-solution’ approach should hear these works – free as they are from the rein of cyclical sonata form. Hazendonk describes them as “witty, often hard-driven and sardonically humoristic music”, and Ronald Brautigam uses them to push his instrument to the limit.
With superb 5.0 SACD surround this is a recording to be treasured in its own right, and comes highly recommended as something a bit special even amongst the rest of Brautigam’s excellent fortepiano Beethoven cycle.
Dominy Clements


































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.