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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from APR5571
Recording details: October 1947
Abbey Road Studios, London, United Kingdom
Release date: June 2002
Total duration: 15 minutes 44 seconds

Kinderszenen, Op 15
composer
1838

Von fremden Ländern und Menschen  [1'38]  recorded 9 October 1947
Kuriose Geschichte  [0'57]  recorded 9 October 1947
Hasche-Mann  [0'31]  recorded 9 October 1947
Bittendes Kind  [0'51]  recorded 9 October 1947
Glückes genug  [1'11]  recorded 9 October 1947
Wichtige Begebenheit  [0'57]  recorded 9 October 1947
Träumerei  [2'11]  recorded 9 October 1947
Am Kamin  [0'46]  recorded 9 October 1947
Ritter vom Steckenpferd  [0'39]  recorded 9 October 1947
Fast zu ernst  [1'11]  recorded 9 October 1947
Fürchtenmachen  [1'46]  recorded 9 October 1947
Kind im Einschlummern  [1'27]  recorded 9 October 1947
Der Dichter spricht  [1'39]  recorded 9 October 1947

Other recordings available for download
Angela Hewitt (piano)
Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Sergio Fiorentino (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Friedrich Wieck was, as Schumann discovered, the father-in-law from hell. He so opposed the burgeoning relationship between the composer and his precious daughter—eight years Robert’s junior yet, one imagines, quite feisty enough to know her own mind—that he did everything in his power to break things up between them, from taking Clara on a seven-month concert tour to fighting the engagement in the law courts. As history relates, his efforts came to nothing, and love triumphed. While apart during that long tour in 1838, Robert and Clara wrote constantly to one other, and from Schumann streamed a succession of piano works, not least Kinderszenen, the most touching recollection of childhood. As he wrote to Clara, ‘Perhaps it was an echo of what you once said to me, that “Sometimes I seemed like a child”; anyway, I was suddenly visited by inspiration, and then I knocked off about thirty quaint little things, from which I have selected about twelve … You will enjoy them—though you will have to forget you are a virtuoso.’ When Kinderszenen was published the final tally of pieces was thirteen.

‘Knocked off’ hardly does these pieces justice; despite being modest in dimensions, each piece is as deftly and exquisitely crafted as anything in his more outwardly sophisticated mode. And though certain numbers may be simple enough for a reasonably talented child to play (or at least to stumble through) most are not, as witness the wildly exuberant ‘Knight of the hobbyhorse’ (Ritter vom Steckenpferd) or the manically gleeful ‘Blind man’s buff’ (Hasche-Mann). Among the most touching portraits here are the ‘Pleading child’ (Bittendes Kind), quietly insistent but ending, like the ‘Child falling asleep’ (Kind im Einschlummern), without resolution, tenderly catching the emotional inconsistency of youth. And Schumann conceives it beautifully as a cycle, from the haunting beauty of the opening ‘From foreign lands and people’ (Von fremden Ländern und Menschen), via the spare eloquence of the central ‘Dreaming’ (Träumerei), to the quiet rhetoric of ‘The poet speaks’ (Der Dichter spricht), the subject holding his audience rapt, his soliloquy ending in a whisper at the lower end of the keyboard.

from notes by Harriet Smith © 2014


Other albums featuring this work
'Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 6 – Schumann' (APR5586)
Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 6 – Schumann
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5586  Download only  
'Schumann: Kinderszenen & Waldszenen; Janáček: On the overgrown path I' (CDA68030)
Schumann: Kinderszenen & Waldszenen; Janáček: On the overgrown path I
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 96 kHz £12.00ALAC 24-bit 96 kHz £12.00 CDA68030  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Kinderszenen, Sonata No 2' (CDA67780)
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Kinderszenen, Sonata No 2
'A Matthay Miscellany – Rare and unissued recordings by Tobias Matthay and his pupils' (APR6014)
A Matthay Miscellany – Rare and unissued recordings by Tobias Matthay and his pupils
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 APR6014  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  

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