Eric Le Sage

Schumann: Für die Jugend...

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Schumann: Für die Jugend... Review

by James Leonard

Eric le Sage's superlative series of recordings of the piano music of Robert Schumann continues with this unusual but wholly organic set featuring the composer's works for children. In two well-filled discs, le Sage presents all 43 pieces from Album für die Jugend, along with the Twelve Piano Pieces for Little and Big Children, the Nine Characteristic Tone Pieces called Ball-Scenes, and the Six Easy Dance Pieces called Kinderball, the last three works for four hands. Although 60 children's pieces all together might seem like too much of a good thing, the actual performances roll by without causing the slightest dip in interest. The listener cannot expect music with the profundity of the C major Fantasia; these are truly children's pieces with charming melodies, delightful harmonies, infectious rhythms, and, above all, easy accessibility. But within the context of what they set out to do -- make music appealing for children -- these pieces are hard to beat. Le Sage's performances could hardly be bettered; the pianist turns in readings as beautifully executed as his earlier recordings of Schumann's more technically challenging masterpieces. Pairing with Denis Pascal or Frank Braley, le Sage delivers enchanting accounts of the four-hand piano pieces. Captured in Alpha Productions' standard clear, deep, and atmospheric sound, this two-disc set should be heard by anyone following this series or anyone interested in either the composer or in piano music for children.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Pieces for Children Big and Small (12), for piano, 4 hands, Op. 85
1 Eric Le Sage 02:21 Amazon
2 Eric Le Sage 01:23 Amazon
3 Eric Le Sage 02:13 Amazon
4 Eric Le Sage 01:35 Amazon
5 Eric Le Sage 02:12 Amazon
6 Eric Le Sage 01:57 Amazon
7 Eric Le Sage 03:22 Amazon
8 Eric Le Sage 01:46 Amazon
9 Eric Le Sage 02:27 Amazon
10 Eric Le Sage 01:22 Amazon
11 Eric Le Sage 02:55 Amazon
12 Eric Le Sage 02:44 Amazon
Ballszenen (9) for piano, 4 hands, Op. 109
13 Eric Le Sage 01:18 Amazon
14 Eric Le Sage 03:11 Amazon
15 Eric Le Sage 01:35 Amazon
16 Eric Le Sage 02:15 Amazon
17 Eric Le Sage 01:56 Amazon
18 Eric Le Sage 03:52 Amazon
19 Eric Le Sage 02:58 Amazon
20 Eric Le Sage 03:24 Amazon
21 Eric Le Sage 04:35 Amazon
Kinderball for piano, 4 hands (6 leichte Tanzstücke), Op. 130
22 Eric Le Sage 03:00 Amazon
23 Eric Le Sage 01:21 Amazon
24 Eric Le Sage 02:09 Amazon
25 Eric Le Sage 00:58 Amazon
26 Eric Le Sage 01:14 Amazon
27 Eric Le Sage 02:37 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Album für die Jugend (Album for the Young) for piano, Op. 68
1 Eric Le Sage 01:01 Amazon
2 Eric Le Sage 00:52 Amazon
3 Eric Le Sage 00:53 Amazon
4 Eric Le Sage 01:36 Amazon
5 Eric Le Sage 00:55 Amazon
6 Eric Le Sage 01:23 Amazon
7 Eric Le Sage 00:56 Amazon
8 Eric Le Sage 00:33 Amazon
9 Eric Le Sage 01:39 Amazon
10 Eric Le Sage 00:38 Amazon
11 Eric Le Sage 01:16 Amazon
12 Eric Le Sage 01:36 Amazon
13 Eric Le Sage 02:08 Amazon
14 Eric Le Sage 02:16 Amazon
15 Eric Le Sage 01:46 Amazon
16 Eric Le Sage 01:16 Amazon
17 Eric Le Sage 01:23 Amazon
18 Eric Le Sage 00:51 Amazon
19 Eric Le Sage 00:50 Amazon
20 Eric Le Sage 01:11 Amazon
21 Eric Le Sage 01:34 Amazon
22 Eric Le Sage 01:27 Amazon
23 Eric Le Sage 01:12 Amazon
24 Eric Le Sage 01:24 Amazon
25 Eric Le Sage 01:20 Amazon
26 Eric Le Sage 02:10 Amazon
27 Eric Le Sage 01:16 Amazon
28 Eric Le Sage 01:42 Amazon
29 Eric Le Sage 02:36 Amazon
30 Eric Le Sage 02:42 Amazon
31 Eric Le Sage 01:03 Amazon
32 Eric Le Sage 02:49 Amazon
33 Eric Le Sage 01:43 Amazon
34 Eric Le Sage 02:46 Amazon
35 Eric Le Sage 02:45 Amazon
36 Eric Le Sage 01:07 Amazon
37 Eric Le Sage 02:16 Amazon
38 Eric Le Sage 02:08 Amazon
39 Eric Le Sage 02:34 Amazon
40 Eric Le Sage 02:31 Amazon
41 Eric Le Sage 02:01 Amazon
42 Eric Le Sage 01:33 Amazon
43 Eric Le Sage 01:55 Amazon
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