Simple Sonatinas Primarily Intended for Piano Students
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 09/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"No one is going to confuse Friedrich Kuhlau (1786-1832) with Mozart or Beethoven. He was a journeyman musician -- pianist, composer, teacher -- who lived primarily in northern Germany and Denmark. He wrote tons of piano music, much of it with pedagogical intent. That certainly is the case with these sonatinas from his Opp. 55 & 88. I certainly recall playing a couple of them as a young piano student, and remember them fondly. There is nothing here that would strain the capabilities of a student with little more than a year or two of study under his or her belt.
Still, there is tunefulness, clear structure and rhythmic vitality in these pieces, and they make for pleasant, if undemanding, listening. Jenö Jandó, Naxos's pianist for all seasons, makes them sound as good as is possible and he is given clear, lifelike sound. His well-regulated piano is also quite a good one for this repertoire; it has a appropriately light tone.