Helyer, Marjorie: The Greenwood Tree
Ten Pieces for Piano
The tradition of writing short programmatic piano pieces for children, more or less invented by Schumann in his Kinderszenen of 1836, is among the most enduring traditions of Western music, having survived every change of style and fashion over the years. The twelve piano pieces by Marjorie Helyer in The Greenwood Tree are conceived in the mood of Schumann, translated perhaps to an English landscape, with haymakers, dragonflies, the merry cricket, the silver birch, the rabbit’s playtime and the village green all portrayed in sound. As well as being beautifully written for small hands learning their way around the keyboard, these pieces also provide valuable preparation in sharpening imaginative responses to a a broad range of more complex music, to be encountered by young pianists in due course.
First published in 1952 but unavailable for some time, The Greenwood Tree is now reissued in a fresh and contemporary engraving, which includes the composer’s original fingering.