Classical music for children has been an underserved genre, even though nothing could be more beneficial to the cause of bringing the music to future generations. Any such release is worthy of note, but one like this, charming and original, is cause for celebration. Pianist Jenny Lin organizes for children some favorite compositions and a few delightful rarities along a timeline "from breakfast to bedtime." There are 26 short pieces, enough to give a feel for the variety and importance of this tradition in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Along the way you get Chopsticks, which you may not have known was an actual composition with an actual composer (female, at that), former chestnuts like Grieg's Grandmother's Minuet, the utterly charming I Danced with a Mosquito by Anatoly Liadov, ragtime and jazz works, and, to end, starlight familiar (Mozart) and more rare (Selim Palmgren), plus the famed cradle songs of Brahms and Chopin. Lin and the engineers from the Steinway label create a magical atmosphere, amplified by excellent children's illustrations in the booklet by Mikela Prevost. An ideal holiday, or anytime, gift item.
This second volume of the Guide to Musical Instruments explores the history of musical instruments in the period from 1800 to 1950. Its purpose is both to discuss improvements and transformations of instruments dating from before 1800 and to investigate all the novelties thought up by instrument makers during this era. All these developments took place in a context in which the process of instrument making moved from artisans’ workshops to commercial firms which became veritable factories, typical of the ‘age of industrialisation’. The majority of the musical examples are recordings of individual instruments that allow us to hear timbres often lost under the weight of the orchestral mass.This second volume of the Guide follows the same principles as the first.
Franz Schubert never achieved the success as a composer for the stage that the aspired to, and even since his genius has been fully recognized, his dramatic works have not found their way into the repertoire. This is due not so much to the quality of the music, which is often very high, but to the fact that Schubert devoted himself to a form, thesingspiel, which wasn't quite an opera, but a play with interpolated musical numbers that fell quickly out of style and has never made a popular comeback. Several Mozart singspiele, particularly Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Die Zauberflöte, have remained in the repertoire due to the large percentage of musical numbers they contain, their dramatic appeal, and their extraordinary music, criteria that Schubert's work doesn't meet.