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Jenny Lin disappoints in music for children


Jenny Lin, 'Melody's Mostly Musical Day' (Steinway & Sons).

This is a disappointment from a hugely inventive and promising classical piano disc for children.

What pianist Jenny Lin has done here is to arrange classical piano works into a narrative about a fictional child named Melody and her day from breakfast to bedtime. The record's liner notes are a children's book illustrating everything from the opening "Mama" and "Bread and Butter" from Mozart to excerpts from "Peter and the Wolf" and Poulenc's "The Story of Babar," Grieg's "Grandfather's Minuet" to lesser known works by Satie  ("Menu for Kids") and Mrs. Amy Beach ("Little Flower").

Much of it, frankly, is awfully fey, even more so than John Alden Carpenter's orchestral kids' fantasy "Adventures in a Perambulator." What that does is bring the arrival of little pieces by Mussorgsky, Faure, Chick Corea, Cyril Scott, Villa-Lobos and Chopin both a pleasure and a bit of a relief. It was a very good idea, in theory, on Lin's part but as performed a very unlikely one to make Lin new friends among fans or children.

Much better for the former would be to find Lin's recording of one of the great virtually unknown masterpieces of 20th century piano music, Federico Mompou's "Musica Callada."

3 stars (out of four)


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