Georges Bizet was not eminent as a piano composer, for the number of his piano works is small and not very substantial in terms of form, content and character. Yet there is an exception: the “Jeux d'enfants” for piano four hands from 1871. In this loosely-connected series of twelve short and very terse genre pieces, Bizet crafted a charming masterwork. With an unpretentious simplicity tht is full of French “esprit”, he creates a unique and distinctive mood in each of the miniatures and the textural-harmonic means employed already point in the direction of Ravel and Debussy! Unfortunately, much of his compositional audacity was smoothed out in the first edition of 1872, making it all the more important that our Urtext edition also takes Bizet's autograph into account. The preface and comments go into detail about all the discrepancies of the first edition, thereby offering a fascinating glimpse into publishing history.
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