Alongside the many works of Beethoven that are staples of the concert repertoire there are a number of piano pieces that have not received as much attention as their more famous siblings and remain infrequently performed. This recording (with the notable exception of “Für Elise”) is dedicated to these works.
Vladimir Feltsman has courted a good deal of controversy, to the extent that I thought he was no longer recording the masterworks of whose idiosyncratic accounts he made a name for himself. These bagatelles are like fragments taken out of grave contexts, and conveniently they come from his first, second and last periods, the final ones as mischievously sublime as certain passages in the late piano sonatas and the last quartets. Fortunately Feltsman doesn't try to make idiosyncratic music into something more or different, and concludes with a straightfaced account of that curse of the beginner, FurElise. Keep it on hand and it may even reveal to you lovely gems that don't often get programmed because of their brevity.
BBC Music Magazine PERFORMANCE **** RECORDING ****
A clever anthology.