Nikolai Kapustin’s Ten bagatelles, op. 59

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susannah Steele (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
John Salmon

Abstract: Russian composer Nikolai Kapustin (b. 1937) has written a considerable body of repertoire for solo piano, but he was largely unknown and much of his music was inaccessible in the West until the early 2000s. His Ten Bagatelles, Op. 59 (1991) are virtually unknown in mainstream piano literature. The delayed circulation of Kapustin's music was due to a variety of factors, not least of which was the controlled nature of the Soviet region where Kapustin was writing for the entire first part of his career. Now that his music has begun to become known among musicians, particularly pianists for whom most of his work is written, it enjoys ever-increasing amounts of recognition. Kapustin's music is always intense, whether through rhythmic drive or textural complexity, and his blend of classical and jazz sources is unique. Kapustin was not the first to merge these traditionally distinct languages into a single voice, but the fluency of his style is what most often catches his audience's attention. Nearly all of Kapustin's music invites the question: is it classical or jazz? Not until the 2000s has Kapustin's work gained recognition through recordings, frequent performances of his pieces, as well as various publications and presentations. Most of the scholarly writing on Kapustin is in the form of dissertations and journal articles that so far have only specifically addressed and analyzed a relatively small amount of his work. No formal research has been conducted on the Ten Bagatelles, Op. 59 to date. This paper provides brief biological information on the composer, background on jazz musicians in the USSR, and a discussion of Kapustin's musical style as observed in his pieces. The fourth section of this document describes each of Kapustin's Ten Bagatelles, Op. 59 in some detail, noting structural and stylistic features, as well as technical and musical concerns of the performer.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Bagatelle, Jazz, Kapustin, Piano, Russia, Soviet
Kapustin, Nikolai?, $d 1937- $t Bagatelles, $m piano, $n op. 59
Jazz musicians $z Soviet Union

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