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  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

Livia Rév: For Children
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685 – 1750) Prelude in E major BWV 937; Praeambulum in G minor BWV 930
Louis-Claude DAQUIN (1694 – 1772) Le Coucou (The cuckoo)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756 – 1791) Variations on ‘Ah vous dirai-je, maman’ K265
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 – 1827) Für Elise WoO 59
Robert SCHUMANN (1810 – 1856) Wilder Reiter (Wild Rider); Volksliedchen (Little folk song); Fröhlicher Landmann von der Arbeit zurückkehrend
Frédéric CHOPIN (1810 – 1849) Nocturne in C minor Op. posth
Franz LISZT (1811 – 1886) Étude No 1; Étude No 2
Georges BIZET (1838 – 1875) (arr Lucien Garbon) La toupee (The top)
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845 – 1924) (arr Alfred Cortot) Berceuse (Cradle song)
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893) Maman; Valse
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887 – 1959) O Polichinello (Punsch); A Pobrezinha (The rag doll); Moreninha (The paper doll)
André JOLIVET (1905 – 1974) Chanson naďve No 1; Chanson naďve No 3
Serge PROKOFIEV (1891 – 1953) Waltz
Claude DEBUSSY (1860 – 1918) Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum; The little shepherd; Le petit nčgre
Béla BARTÓK (1881 – 1945) An evening in the country; Andante; Swineherd’s Song; Moderato; Jest
Milosz MAGIN (1929 – 1999) Danse noble (Noble dance); Nostalgie du pays (Homesickness); Chant des moissons (Song of the harvests)
Janez MATACIC (b. 1926) Miniature variations
Livia Rév (piano)
Recorded 19 – 20 June 1985
HYPERION HELIOS CDH55194 [68:12]


 

This well-filled disc is, in spite of the title, definitely not only for children, although I would think that many children will be fascinated by both the titles and the actual music. Some of it is clearly written for children, like Schumann’s collection Album für die Jugend and Bartok’s For Children, while for example Villa-Lobos’s A Prolo do Bebę (The Baby’s Family) is rather written about children. Other pieces may have no immediate connection with the children’s world at all but are definitely accessible to children, provided that the music is introduced in an appetizing way, and that way is rarely the musicological way. The booklet notes here by Max Harrison are very good, very informative but hardly intended for children and if there is something I would have wished that is a children-oriented introduction, probably with pictures. But I suppose Hyperion’s production team trusted that buyers would use their own imagination and pedagogical skill to provide the necessary introduction into this fascinating world. And it is indeed a whole world, spanning more than 250 years and a large part of the European continent – plus South America.

It is a collection full of variety and it is very well played. Livia Rév adopts generally lively tempos throughout but plays with the utmost delicacy and since the 20-year-old recording is fresh and life-like – could have been made yesterday – nobody needs to hesitate on these grounds. As a recital, played in its entirety from beginning to end it is also very satisfying. There are in toto 33 pieces, most of them short (only Mozart’s variations on “Twinkle twinkle little star” and the concluding Miniature Variations by Matacic exceed 5 minutes) but still the recital doesn’t feel chopped up. For the general, grown-up listener it is also nice to get, besides more or less well-known music by the “big” names, pieces by Villa-Lobos, Jolivet (when did you last hear something by him?), Prokofiev and not least two contemporary composers who were completely new to me, Milosz Magin and Janez Matacic. And attractive music it is.

Whenever a youngster appears in my listening room it will be a pleasure to treat him/her to some Daquin, Tchaikovsky or Bartók. Just as often I will serve my adult visitors with delectables from this disc. A winner in all respects.

Göran Forsling

 



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