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Click to enlargeSchumann - Scenes from Childhood, Op.15 (Palmer) [Alfred Publishing Co.]

(Click on photo to see larger image)

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) was a central figure of musical Romanticism. His emphasis on self-expression and capacity to relay emotion through his music made his compositions powerful and moving. Scenes from Childhood, published in 1838, presents a wide array of those emotions, yet the themes Schumann used easily capture the essence of youth. In addition, eloquence, lively lyricism and the influence of poetry are evident. Each short piece is individually charming, yet when the collection is performed in its entirety, every selection leads directly into the next with a unity that is a pianistic delight.

In preparing this Alfred edition, Willard A. Palmer conducted meticulous research, including a thorough review of the original autograph. Palmer's concise explanation of phrasing and ornamentation, plus a useful tempo chart, provide the valuable information required for an accurate and precise performance.

Like Schumann's piano pieces for the young, the paintings of John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) often capture the mood and feeling of the moment. In his Village Children, the innocence and candidness of children are clearly conveyed. Both Schumann and Sargent were uncompromising in the presentation of their works, and this painting was chosen for this cover since its vibrant display of color and emotion reflects that which is so often heard in Schumann's music.

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