In his works ‘Kinderszenen’ and ‘Album for the Young’, Robert Schumann wrote music that speaks to both children and adults alike. Liv Glaser and her 1830 Hafner fortepiano thrive in Schumann’s world of everyday stories and magic fun and games.
Many of the pieces in “Album for the Young” Schumann wrote for his eldest daughter’s seven-year birthday. Written to be played by children, each of the small pieces tells its own little story. Glaser herself played these pieces at the same age, from a 1878 edition she inherited from her grandmother: “The first piece, ‘Melody’, suited my little hands so well, and the short ‘Chorale’ was as if made for a Christmas performance in the home. Besides this it was even permissible to play ‘Knecht Ruprecht’ all in a rage and at times it could be quite difficult to hold back the tears in ‘Erster Verlust’.” For this release, Glaser has arranged a selection of pieces for ‘Album for the Young’ with the four seasons as a vignette, reaching back to the idea behind Schumann’s first edition of the pieces.
Kinderszenen as a dream of future life together
After receiving his beloved Clara’s enthusiastic reaction to the pieces, Schumann wrote back: ‘What I in all modesty have invented, maybe one day will become our reality?’ These words open up for the idea that Schumann not only looked upon Kinderszenen as a recollection of childhood, but perhaps to an even greater extent as a dream of their life together in the future? A dream which in actual fact, after several years struggle, came true; Robert and Clara married each other in 1840, the year after the publication of Kinderszenen.
Celebrating her 75th birthday this year, as well as 50 years since her debut concert, Professor Liv Glaser continues her musical endeavours with the same strength as ever. Some 20 years ago she started studies of original instruments and performance practice with Malcolm Bilson. The result is several critically acclaimed recordings of such composers as Mozart, Clementi, Schubert and Grieg.