Women and Children First: Songs for the Imagination

(Oct 2012)
Two of the focal points of this program are Francis Poulenc’s La courte paille (The Short Straw) and Robert Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Op. 15 (Scenes from Childhood).  Despite their whimsical titles, these are not intended to be performed by children.  (Poulenc was asked this question in an interview, to which he replied: “Ah, non! … [les] mélodies sont très difficile!”)  Why, then, these pieces that conjure and capture the thoughts and activities of children?

When viewed from particular angles, children appear rather simple.  Certainly, some people treat them as such, speaking in falsely high voices and adding the letter Y to the end of their words.  Spending a lot of time talking at them, instead of listening.

However, through the lens of these works, children inhabit a different world.  What guides these funny creatures that take such pleasure in nonsense; that react without the filter of propriety; that glow with the innocence of angels as they sleep (however they may have behaved when awake); that imagine in technicolor?  What intrigues us so that such pieces should be inspired by them?  Perhaps it is the simple magic of this: for children, everything is possible.

Saturday, October 20th, 2012 @ 6:30 p.m.

Greenwich House Music

46 Barrow Street

Tickets @ door (cash only): $15 general, $10 students/seniors

A program of songs and solo piano music from Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Francis Poulenc, Robert Schumann, and Richard Strauss.

Jee-Eun Hong, soprano; Suna Chung, piano

Cover Art: Angel B. Lee angelblee.com

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