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Robert Schumann: Scenes From Childhood, opus 15

Jacques Loussier (piano), Benoît de Segonzac (bass), André Arpino ( drums)
Recorded at the Palais des Congrès, Paris
Telarc Records TEL-32270-02 – Booklet in English

To label this CD as “Classical” does the public a disservice because it could be missed by those who would enjoy it most and those who appreciate a fusion of great music, great technique and top engineering. As one who has played this Schumann suite on piano many times and who had never heard of Jacques Loussier, I put the disc in and became an instant fan (so much so that I’ve since listened to several other recordings by the trio). The melody from the piano was familiar at first, but then it took off in all directions with an extended bass riff in the middle.

“Träumerei”, or “Rêverie”, is the best known piece of this suite and the one track on this CD which Mr. Loussier plays as a solo. He takes this delicate piece and spins it out for ten minutes in which he develops the theme in a mystical, magical way leaving no doubt that he is a consummate musician. It’s in the “Knight of the Hobbyhorse” where you can tell that the group is having as much fun as the listener; the drummer making full use of his set in a protracted solo.

All elements of this CD are excellent, producing not a sterile “studio sound” but rather one you’d expect to hear during an evening in a fine Manhattan jazz club. This is a more than a disc to provide background music at your next cocktail party; it’s to be savored for its creativity and for the way it helps us hear in a new way. I highly recommend it.

Suzanne Torrey




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