Blurry Bagatelle

For Solo Piano
(2017) 4 minutes

Commissioned by the Presteigne Festival and premiered by Tim Horton at St. Andrew's Church, Presteigne on 25th August as part of the 2017 Festival.

Programme note

Blurry Bagatelle is inspired by Beethoven's Op. 126 No. 5 (Quasi allegretto). In my homage I simply took the motives and gestures that appealed to me from Beethoven's Bagatelle and composed a little piece with the memory of them fresh in my mind. The dialogue between the two hands in Beethoven's opening is mimicked in the beginning of my piece, but the melodic range is squashed into a much tighter space, and the blurriness of the title is created with the use of chords in which all notes are sustained by the pedal, but only some notes sustained by the fingers (revealing simpler harmonies when the pedal is released, as if focusing a camera lens). The middle section, in a homage to George in his 60th year, sets the letters of his name as the melody. 

© Cheryl Frances-Hoad, 2017


"Frances-Hoad’s Blurry Bagatelle was influenced by Beethoven’s Op 126 no 5. Phrases and gestures from the model found their way into the new piece, whose title alludes to chords sustained by pedal and fingers. Tender and affecting, this tribute piece conveyed the serenity and humanity of its source material." 

Paul Conway, Musical Opinion

Performance history (post-premiere)

28th June 2020 - Tim Horton at Syde Manor, Cheltenham, UK

25th May 2018 - Tim Horton at the Jacqueline du Pre Building, Oxford, UK 

13th October 2017 - Tim Horton at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham, UK 

8th October 2017 - Tim Horton at the Great Hall, Swansea University, UK 


Buy Magic Lantern Tales, Cheryl's CD featuring Blurry Bagatelle

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