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• Suffering from Beethoven anniversary fatigue? The British pianist Paul Lewis has the ideal tonic. His album Für Elise: Bagatelles, Opp 33, 119 & 126 (Harmonia Mundi) brings together the three sets of bagatelles, written across Beethoven’s career. These punchy, gleaming miniatures, hardly unknown – some are popular with amateur players – tend to be overshadowed by the towering piano sonatas, in themselves a lifetime’s listening (as Lewis’s own account has shown). Beethoven referred to the bagatelles as “trifles”, defining their one-movement structure, rather than their musical insignificance: aural sonnets, though without the strict form that comparison might suggest. Each is a model... Full story

6 days ago, 1 August