In 1845, Schumann composed his Six Canonic Studies, Op.56 for the pedal-piano that he had had made for his own use a few years earlier. It was an upright piano with a pedal-board of 29 notes connected to an action and a special soundboard at the back of the instrument. Schumann was especially enthused by the instrument and composed several pieces for it. Sadly, though, it never caught on. In 1891, to keep the music alive, Debussy made arrangements of the Studies for two pianos, opening out their sometimes congested textures with his usual sensitivity for sonority and spacing. And it is this version that Holloway has used in this delightful version for chamber orchestra. Yet another homage to two composers that he greatly admires.
Repertoire Note by Peter Marchbank