Famous artists from the world of classical music take children on a journey through the “Classical Wonderland”: Jonas Kaufmann, Joshua Bell, Lang Lang, Plácido Domingo and many other artists have each selected and recorded a short piece for this album. In this way they hope to entice young people into the enchanted world of classical music. In the booklet, all artists explain their repertoire choices to the children. Moreover, the booklet also serves as a fold-out poster on which children can discover musical instruments.
SOL GABETTA - VIOLONCELLIST
With the help of the pieces I’ve chosen for you I’d like to show you how much fun classical music can be and how much pleasure it can give you – and also, of course, I’d like to show you what the wonderful instrument that I play is capable of achieving. Both pieces will make the children imaging wonderful things while hearing it. How wonderful that classical music is capable to do so.
JOSHUA BELL - VIOLINIST
I chose the Brahms Hungarian Dance by Brahms because I can well imagine that children will love it’s catchy melody and lively rhythms. It’s serious, fun, and full of passion! I only wish that all children have the opportunity to be exposed to great music…and the earlier in life, the better!
Jonas Kaufmann - SINGER
Guten Abend, gut’ Nacht is my favourite goodnight song, that’s why I chose it for this album. My children have often wanted me to sing it to them at bedtime since they like it as much as I do. Brahms wrote it 150 years ago on the birth of a friend’s son – since then it has been sung countless times at bedsides on the evening. It’s simply a beautiful evening song for children, good night!
IGOR LEVIT - PIANIST
I chose „Für Elise“, because I think it is a great piece and it deserves to be played, it deserves to be heard and to be threatened with the highest respect. It’s a very heartfelt piece which tells its own story and will speak to the children’s imagination – but I’ll leave it to their imagination to decide what sort of a story the piece tells them personally.
Plácido Domingo - SINGER
“Astro del cielo” is a beautiful melody you can listen to throughout the whole year and will hopefully delight a lot if children! Also for children who will not make music their profession, the gift of great music is something that will enrich their lives forever. The more great things children are exposed to, the better. Whether it’s classical music, art, dance, literature, science – whatever it is, there is a chance that one or more of these things will “click” with a child at exactly the right moment and will become important to him or her for a whole lifetime.
Simone Dinnerstein - PIANIST
I learned this Bach Prelude when I was around ten years old. Children are very open to new experiences. It's important to expose them to the arts before they have developed prejudices. I love to show children all of the amazing aspects of classical music and to open their ears to hearing its beauty and complexity.
THE 12 CELLISTS OF THE BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER
Shostakovich was a 20th-century Russian composer who wrote an incredible amount of fantastic music: 15 symphonies, several concertos, operas, piano music, string quartets and other kinds of chamber music as well as film scores and even music for a palm court orchestra. Many of his works are hard to understand because he lived through a very difficult period when composers were under strict state control and could not simply write what they wanted to. In spite of this, Shostakovich composed a lot of music that is entertaining and fun to listen to, including his Waltz, which we have recorded for you. One of our group, David Riniker, has arranged it for our 12 cellos, and we enjoy playing his arrangement at family concerts, because all the children can then dance with their parents.
Khatia Buniatishvili - PIANIST
I’ve chosen Träumerei, “dreaming”, from Robert Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood, because dreams bring us happiness. To feel happiness in your heart it has to pass through your mind, mind that is filled with dreams. Children should never stop dreaming – like that childhood will stay with them forever.
MARTIN STADTFELD - PIANIST
My mother often told me that as a small child I reacted with particular pleasure to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A smile would pass over my face and I would listen enthralled. Now I myself am the father of a small son, and he too feels only enthusiasm for this music. I think you should share the joy, lightness and happiness with as many children as possible.