bagatelle ˌba-gə-ˈtel noun
1. something of little value or significance
2. a light piece of music for piano
3. a table game in which short cues are used to knock balls into holes that are guarded by wooden pegs; penalties are incurred if the pegs are knocked over
The word bagatelle has appeared in nine articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on April 6 in the music review “A Pianist’s Seamless Flow, Nothing Short of Astounding” by James R. Oestreich:
True, the audience thinned out a bit at intermission, and many of those remaining refused to play along when Mr. Schiff tried to run the Prelude and Fugue in B minor from Book I of Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” into Brahms’s three “Klavierstücke” (Op. 119), interrupting at length with applause. It’s hard to blame anyone for enthusiasm or for wanting to relieve the tension of a long and intense musical evening.
… Mr. Schiff concluded with a brilliant performance of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 26 (“Les Adieux”). Well, almost concluded. He also likes to surprise with generous encores. On Tuesday he added all of Bach’s Italian Concerto and Brahms’s posthumous “Albumblatt” in A minor. On Thursday he offered a Beethoven bagatelle (Op. 126, No. 6) and Bach’s “Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother.”