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 TP (1-901)


For Children

Geoffrey Tozer - piano

$23   (Australian dollars)


buy at: AMC - Buywell - iTunes

Geoffrey Tozer plays piano music by Bach, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Schubert, Prokofiev, Bartók and Schumann written especially for children.

J.S. Bach (1685-1750)
Selection from the Notebook of Anna Magdalena Bach (1725)
Polonaise in F, BWV Anh.117
Polonaise in G, BWV Anh.119
Chorale: Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille, BWV511
Musette in D, BWV Anh.126
March in E flat, BWV Anh.127
Aria: Bist du bei mir, BWV508
Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Selection from Album for the Young, op.39 (1878)
The song of the peasant
The organ grinder
German song
Mozart (1756-1791)
Minuet in G, K1
Minuet in F, K2
Allegro in B flat, K3
Minuet in F, K4
Minuet in C, K61gII
Piano piece in F, K33B
Schubert (1797-1828)
Scherzo No.1, D.593
Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Selection from For Children, op.65 (1935)
Playing Tag
Bartók (1881-1945)
Selection from Mikrokosmos Vol. V (1932-39)
Merry Andrew (No.139)
Peasant dance (No.128)

Selection from Nine Little Pieces (1926)
Selection from For Children (1908-09)
Children's dance
# 12 (Allegro)
Old Hungarian tune
Soldier's song
# 19 (Allegretto)
# 21 (Allegro robusto)
# 25 (Parlando)
Drunkard's song
Jeering song
Schumann (1810-1856)
Selection from Album for the Young, op.68 (1848)
A little piece
The poor orphan
A hunter's song
A wild horseman
Little folk song
The merry peasant
A spring song
The little morning wanderer
# 22 (Slowly with expression)
Italian sailor's song


This collection is strikingly different from most of its genre in being not about children, but for them. 

So the entire disc is of repertoire that is easy enough for them to play; Tozer's booklet essay (‘Dear Children'), even his biography, is designed for children to read and evangelises a happy, cheerful attitude to interpretation. The main picture is of Tozer himself as a child.

It's a valiant effort; the writing occasionally goes into the wrong register (Schumann, we are told, wrote ‘wonderfully perceptive [pieces], admirable for children') and the seven year-old Tozer pictured is managing to play some music up on the piano that is far harder than what's on the CD. But compared to collections like the Idil Biret Tchaikovsky / Schumann Kinderszenen / Debussy Children's Corner, the Livia Rev Hyperion collection or the Angela Brownridge Schumann Album for the Young complete recording, this is far more accessible for children, far more something they might themselves want to own and appreciate.
Ying Chang
Musical Pointers

For Children is a very nice CD to have; the performances are very musical, especially the Schumann, Bartok and Prokofiev. Children's pieces are taken seriously; there are also plenty of ideas for pieces whose catchy titles will attract to offer children (e.g. Prokofiev's Grasshoppers ). 

The closest comparison I can think of are Exam Boards' recordings of exam pieces, but this offers much greater variety and, as Tozer writes, he clearly really enjoyed playing all the pieces. The disc is also very nicely presented. Heartily recommended to children….. and teachers.
Jill Crossland
Musical Pointers

With its seven composers and 48 tracks, this disc provides a mixed bag, though the For Children title indicates the unifying factor. The three longest pieces here (by Schubert and Schumann) last something over three minutes, but only two others play for more than two and division of the total 61 minutes by 48 spells out the fact that most are very short indeed. Nevertheless, the quality of the composers is such that each of them tells, even Bartok's Jeering song with its mere 30 seconds of undeniably vivid music.Initially I asked myself, is the disc intended for piano teachers, as a guide to useful pedagogic material, or for children themselves? If you are buying for the latter, you should note that Geoffrey Tozer takes a sometimes severe view of the six Bach pieces with which he begins, to which not every young pianist will respond positively. However, it is admirably crisp and the chorale which is No. 3 is finely controlled tonally, while the little Musette in D major that follows is pleasingly delicate and dancelike. In fact, the booklet note by the pianist shows that the disc is intended for children, and says, Dear Children... It seems to me quite wrong that children rarely get a chance to hear these exquisite gems of their repertoire played by a professional pianist.Another possibility, of course, is to take this programme simply as music. Though Prokofiev and Bartok themselves used For Children as a title, it is ambiguous; leaving aside age and skill, was this music intended just for them to study and play, and can listeners also be adults? I must confess to finding this programme bitty – for example, the three Tchaikovsky pieces together last less than two and a half minute – and feel that the Minuet in F major that Mozart (probably aided by his father) wrote at the age of six has uncomfortable resonances of unskilled and unmusical childish playing. Furthermore, an artist such as Daniel Barenboim can find deeper music in Schubert's little Scherzo in B flat major (DG, 11/91), Schumann, too, does not reveal all his secrets here. Still, Tozer is never less than enjoyable, though he's better in Prokofiev and Bartok because he enters more convincingly into their worlds, and this well-recorded disc is worth having if its contents suit you
Gramophone (12/1992)

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 TP (1-901)



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