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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    




SCENES FROM CHILDHOOD
Claude DEBUSSY

Children's Corner
Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum

Jimbo's Lullaby
Serenade of the Doll
The Snow is Dancing
The Little Shepherd
Golliwog's Cake-walk
Robert Alexander SCHUMANN

Scenes from Childhood (Kinderszenen), Op.15
Of Foreign Lands and People
A Strange Story
Catch-as-catch-can
Pleading Child
Happy Enough
An Important Event
Dreaming (Traumerei)
By the Fire-side
Knight of the Hobby-Horse
Almost too Serious
Frightening
Child Falling Asleep
The Poet Speaks

Georges BIZET

Children's Games (Suite from Jeux d'enfants), Op.22
The Top (Impromptu)
The Doll (Berceuse)
The Shuttlecock (Fantaisie)
Soap Bubbles (Rondino)
Puss in the Corner (Esquisse)
Blindman's Bluff (Nocturne)
Leaping Frog (Caprice)
Little Husband, Little Wife (Duo)
The Ball (Galop)

Maurice RAVEL

Mother Goose
Pavane for the Sleeping Beauty
Tom Thumb
Laideronnette, Empress of the China Dolls
Conversations of the Beauty and the Beast
The Fairy Garden

The Pro Arte Guitar Trio
ASV CD WHL2129
[61:55]
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This is an inspired, charming collection and I am surprised that it has not (to my knowledge) been done before. The sets of piece are dedicated to children or, to be more accurate, childhood. Though acquainted with the Debussy and Ravel pieces, the "Children's Games" (Suite from Jeux d'enfants), Op.22 by Bizet and Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood"(Kinderszenen), Op.15 was a new, and I must say, most pleasant experience for me.

On this disc the works have been transcribed from the original piano scores to accommodate the medium of guitar trio. The arrangements are realised by two members of the Pro Arte Trio, Peter Rueffer and Richard Hand, the third member of the trio being Tom Dupré. A sense of innocence is maintained by a certain lightness of touch employed by the players. This is aided by the use of an eight-stringed instrument with added basses in conjunction with the standard guitar, but more especially a requinto guitar, an instrument tuned a third higher than the traditional guitar. This provides a somewhat translucent feel. This extended tessitura benefits the music to good effect.

For the most part, each piece is not long in duration (the longest is three minutes forty one seconds). The Trio succeed in bringing out the contrasting moods, which are constantly shifting. Technically the Trio are a tight knit unit capable of some delightfully delicate and sympathetic interplay.

This is charming disc of attractive music which doesn't ask anything of the listener other than to enjoy it.

Andy Daly




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