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Durham e-Theses
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Models and idea in Beethoven's Late 'Trifles': A stylistic study of the Bagatelles, op. 126

Leather, Gareth James (2005) Models and idea in Beethoven's Late 'Trifles': A stylistic study of the Bagatelles, op. 126. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The Bagatelles for piano that Beethoven wrote in the last decade of his life have attracted little attention in comparison to the 'major' works of the same period. The six Bagatelles he published as op. 126 display a deeper concentration of musical ideas than his previous attempts in the genre. Their density of musical thought approaches that of the larger works, but the small form of the Bagatelle has precluded recognition of their importance for the music of Beethoven's late period. This study seeks to explore the position of the Bagatelle within this complex style. Through a consideration of the individual pieces of op. 126 the notions of Model and Idea will inform an interpretation of the Bagatelle and its relation to the 'late style.' The Bagatelle is considered as a 'model' for larger compositions and as a 'model' for the musical language itself, assuming a crucial part in the evolution of Beethoven's musical thought. The Idea of the individual Bagatelle in turn highlights the various elements that we recognise as comprising the 'late style.' This study attempts to establish an interpretation of the op. 126 Bagatelles as providing a significant insight into Beethoven's last compositions.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2005
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:54

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