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The late 1840s were an exciting, prolific time for Robert Schumann (1810-1856), and his Album for the Young represents one of his proudest achievements. The simplicity and accessibility of these piano pieces makes their richness and warmth all the more appealing, and a delight to play. Schumann's emphasis on self-expression, his lively lyricism and his influence of poetry are all discovered here. Schumann's love for his children, particularly his oldest daughter, Marie, shines through this collection of pieces. Humorous, playful, short without sacrificing substance, this
imaginative collection is a wonderful way to introduce the pianist to this champion of the Romantic era.
Willard A. Palmer applied his piano literature expertise in the preparation of this Alfred edition. Too often, earlier editions relied heavily on the editorial work of Schumann's wife, Clara. While a wonderful pianist in her own right, her theoretical musical proficiency was, by her own admission, limited. This edition is based upon the original autograph and the first edition, which was published in 1849, ensuring accuracy and precision.
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) wistfully captures the innocence of two children in his painting Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. Like Schumann's piano pieces for the young, his colorful and buoyant expression is simple, yet his directness and appeal are misleading. Both artists were uncompromising and authoritative in the presentation of their work. Without ever being overly sentimental, both were able to capture the virtue and the beauty of the young child.
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