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.