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I've been working on a number of short Schumann pieces and marvel at the complexities (at least for me) within an apparently simple piece. I welcome any advice. It was rightly suggested that I should have given more importance to the ritardando but I'm wondering about my rubato? Too much?
That was a very respectable attempt! However, you are absolutely right that this piece is far more complex than most people think. I find that Schumann is truly one of the most difficult composers to truly "get right." I, for one, have been struggling along with the Fantasiestücke for several months now and I'm still thoroughly unsatisfied with my interpretations.
While I was listening to your performance, I couldn't help but notice that it lacked that mystical quality that this piece requires. Since this is from the Op. 15 set, you're really trying to capture the mindset of an innocent child pondering about the world he's not yet seen. It should be somewhat fantastical but restrained. I would definitely slow down and play a bit more softly. Listen to Horowitz, Brendel, and Rubinstein for some idea of what I'm trying to say.
Don't give up hope though. Although Schumann is difficult, he is definitely one of my favorite and most dearly-held composers. Good luck!
Bach - WTC I in C major & C minor (BWV 846-847) Mozart - Sonata K 282 Chopin - Polonaises Op 26 Schumann - Fantasiestücke Op 12
Peyton, I hope you saw my 'review' in the ABF thread. If not, here it is.
Originally Posted By: Horowitzian
Peyton, I listened to your Schumann. Well done! My only concerns are that sometimes the accompaniment was a bit too loud, but you held onto the melody. Quieting down the accompaniment will make that easier. smile
Also, take note of the counter-melody in the low register. It generally moves in contrary motion to the top voice. I'd like to hear that brought out a little bit, but not too much. Once again, making the accompaniment quieter will help. Chopin's Op. 15 no. 1 Nocturne that I am working one has even more voices to juggle, so I know how difficult it is. Also, a more distinct "lift" between phrases seems called for. Also hard to do, but I have found that correct phrasing makes all the difference.
Great playing, and thanks for posting!
I, too, love Schumann very much.
Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Akono and Horowitzian, many thanks for these very helpful comments. Akono, I love your comment "you're really trying to capture the mindset of an innocent child pondering about the world he's not yet seen. It should be somewhat fantastical but restrained. I would definitely slow down and play a bit more softly." I just sat down and played with that in mind and it helped much. Horowitzian, making the accompaniment quiter shouldn't be too much of a challenge but "taking note" of the counter melody and juggling those voices will be a nice, if not more difficult focus. And I gotta "lift" between those phrases!
Some small things: I think a little less rubato would do good, the melody in this piece really can speak for itself. And be really careful with the inner figuring, it should never be "in the spotlight". Your mind must be focused on the melody, not the notes in between.
It's really sensitive and hard to make it sound good, but i think youre almost there. Try to listen more than you think