SCHUMANN Robert, Kinderszenen Op.15

1. Von fremden Ländern und Menschen [Of Foreign Lands and People]
2. Kuriose Geschichte [A Curious Story]
3. Hasche-Mann [Blind-Man’s Bluff]
4. Bittendes Kind [A Pleading Child]
5. Glückes genug [Happy Enough]
6. Wichtige Begebenheit [An Important Event]
7. Träumerei [Dreaming]
8. Am Kamin [At the Fireside]
9. Ritter vom Steckenpferd [A Knight on a Hobby Horse]
10. Fast zu Ernst [Almost Too Serious]
11. Fürchtenmachen [Frightening]
12. Kind im Einschlummern [A Child Falling Asleep]
13. Der Dichter spricht [The Poet Speaks]

Schumann wrote Kinderszenen in February and March 1838. He told the composer Carl Reinecke that they were ‘reminiscences for those who have grown up’ though he also had young players in mind – including his own children. Clara saw them in yet a different light, as intimate love poems: ‘It’s true, isn’t it, that they belong only to the two of us? They are so simple, so heart-warming, so very much you’. Whatever their original inspiration, these pieces capture a kind of lyrical fantasy world, from games to dreams, ending with the solemn moment when ‘The Poet Speaks’. Franz Liszt wrote to tell Schumann that playing Kinderszenen to his young daughter was ‘one of the most invigorating joys of my life.’

© Nigel Simeone 2015

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