Children’s Corner is one of Claude Debussy’s most famous piano collections and is dedicated to his daughter Emma, ​​who was always called Chou-Chou. As is often the case with music for children, it is also very appealing to adults as well. The opening Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum is a parodic description of a young piano student who is battling with his Clementi exercises. It starts with swirling arpeggios flying over the keyboard. After a short tentative middle section, the introductory series of broken chords returns, now even more brilliant and “rehearsed”, all with the aim of gaining access to the Parnassus, the home of the muses.

Debussy’s short pieces in Children’s Corner are his reflections of childhood feelings. Jimbo’s Lullaby describes an elephant that was actually called Jumbo. Serenade of the Doll is about a porcelain doll. In Snow, the sense of snow is described and in The Little Shepherd we hear the shepherd with his flute. The last piece in the collection, Golliwogg’s Cakewalk, is one of Debussy’s most played and popular pieces. The name Golliwogg comes from a coloured children’s figure that was very popular for a few decades from the end of the 19th century.

For many people, the pianist Friedrich Gulda has almost cult status as a result of his exceptional interpretations of the great repertoires of Bach, Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven. He was also a wonderful educator and attracted students like Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado. He detested authority and liked turning to other genres, especially jazz, as well as folk music and electronic music.

He was of the opinion that pianists who did not compose themselves could hardly call themselves musicians. And on his own list of works he had compositions for piano, a string quartet, music for jazz groups and solo concerts. His most played work is this concert for cello and wind orchestra. Completely in the spirit of Friedrich Gulda, it is also a wonderfully thrilling adventure that jumps between pop jazz wind sections and cello solos that would suit a rock guitarist, as well as balanced and beautiful Viennese classical melodies. The music includes both the city’s modern pulse and the idyll of rural life. Gulda refused to be confined to narrow musical expressions and could sometimes mock classical music’s stilted ways by performing naked.

/Göran Persson

Andreas Brantelid © Marios Taramides

THU 20 SEP 9 p.m. Living Room Malmö Live Concert hall

Free entry – first come, first served!
Living Room has a limited number of seats

In collaboration with Malmö Live Konserthus and Musikhögskolan i Malmö


Claude Debussy Children’s corner
Conductor: Håkan Hardenberger
Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet, students from Malmö Academy of Music

Friedrich Gulda Concerto for cello and wind orchestra
Conductor: Håkan Hardenberger
Andreas Brantelid, cello; students from Malmö Academy of Music