Hyperion Records

Kinderszenen, Op 15
composer
1838

Recordings
'Schumann: Kinderszenen & Waldszenen; Janáček: On the overgrown path I' (CDA68030)
Schumann: Kinderszenen & Waldszenen; Janáček: On the overgrown path I
CDA68030  June 2014 Release  
'A Matthay Miscellany: Rare and unissued recordings' (APR6014)
A Matthay Miscellany: Rare and unissued recordings
APR6014  2CDs for the price of 1 June 2014 Release  
'Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 1 – 1947 Schumann, Chopin & Debussy' (APR5571)
Alfred Cortot – The Late Recordings, Vol. 1 – 1947 Schumann, Chopin & Debussy
Buy by post £8.50 APR5571 
'Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 6 – Schumann' (APR5586)
Sergio Fiorentino – The Early Recordings, Vol. 6 – Schumann
Buy by post £8.50 APR5586 
'Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Kinderszenen, Sonata No 2' (CDA67780)
Schumann: Davidsbündlertänze, Kinderszenen, Sonata No 2
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67780 
Details
No 01: Von fremden Ländern und Menschen
No 02: Kuriose Geschichte
No 03: Hasche-Mann
No 04: Bittendes Kind
No 05: Glückes genug
Track 24 on CDA68030 [1'12] June 2014 Release
Track 22 on APR6014 CD2 [0'49] 2CDs for the price of 1 June 2014 Release
Track 5 on CDA67780 [1'13]
Track 5 on APR5571 [1'11]
Track 27 on APR5586 [0'44]
No 06: Wichtige Begebenheit
No 07: Träumerei
No 08: Am Kamin
No 09: Ritter vom Steckenpferd
No 10: Fast zu ernst
No 11: Fürchtenmachen
No 12: Kind im Einschlummern
No 13: Der Dichter spricht

Kinderszenen, Op 15
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

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for APR5571 track 13
Der Dichter spricht
Artists
ISRC
GB-SAM-02-57113
Duration
1'39
Recording date
9 October 1947
Recording venue
Abbey Road Studios, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Recording engineer
Hyperion usage
   English   Français   Deutsch