Gramophone Magazine July 2012 Editor's Choice
Following his highly acclaimed Beethoven ‘Moonlight’, ‘Pathétique’ and ‘Waldstein’ Sonatas release, Hyperion’s Gramophone-award-winning artist Steven Osborne turns his talents to Beethoven’s complete Bagatelles. Though the composer himself referred to these thirty short piano works, which he penned throughout his life, as ‘trifles’, these are nonetheless trifles from the mind of a genius. In this polished album, Osborne lends his remarkable artistry to everything from the Six Bagatelles of Op 126, which at times occupy the same rarefied spiritual world as the late quartets and were the very last works Beethoven ever wrote for the piano, to the composer’s most famous stand-alone piano piece, the mysterious little A minor Bagatelle known to all the world as ‘Für Elise’.
It's a part of [Osborne's] personal excursion to seek the individual potency of each Bagatelle...Osborne has delved deep to extract so much from cameos that pack emotional enormity within small spaces. Gramophone
The air of faux naivete Osborne brings to these trifles is particualrly persuasive, with understatement providing the perfect setting and foil for Beethoven's droll humour...Whatever preconceptions you may bring to these pieces, the crystal clarity of Osborne's exquisitely polished pianism is an unalloyed joy to the ear...Osborne's new recording will take its place without apology in any company. Int. Record Review
Despite playing on a modern grand, Osborne’s attack, tone and phrasing suggest an awareness of period performance practice. Climaxes are powerfully telling, yet always remain within “classical” parameters...[Osborne is] captivating, with a gentle touch that produces an astonishing inwardness. MusicWeb