Robert Schumann and his works. :)

Posted by: Avantgardenabi

Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/11/08 08:40 PM

Hi, everyone, again.

Besides of Chopin, Schumann is one of my favorite piano composers. So I want to start this post.

(Chopin is discussed very often here. \:\) )

A love story involving him, Clara, and her stubborn father probably is one of most romantic story, I suppose. ;\)

Also Schumann, like Smetana, tragically suffered a mental illness...

Please comment about Schumann's pieces that you really like.

I love his Sonata No. 2, first movement, Carnaval, Fantasie(a) in C, as well as famous Traumerei. They are so beautiful.


Thank you. I always enjoy reading your comments. \:\)

P.S.

You can listen to Sonata No. 2, G minor, 1st movement by clicking this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=147-ttSq4tg
Posted by: Deus ex Pianoforte

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/11/08 08:52 PM

Toccata in C!

This piece is really something. I have the Henle sheets, and I've never been able to follow along with Horowitz's recording without getting lost at least a few times. Sitting down and actually trying to learn bits of it isn't easy either, very unapproachable. At least to me, anyway. I really like this one, though.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/11/08 08:59 PM

I love Schumann! To me, he is right up there with Brahms and Liszt in importance to piano music (i.e., right behind Chopin)—and, though I don't have anywhere near the knowledge of his (or anyone else's) oeuvre that I do of Chopin's, I can't think anything by Schumann that I don't like!

Of what I'm familiar with, then, I think the Novelletten are unjustly neglected relative to his more popular works, as are the Allegro Op. 8 and the two Allegros for piano and orchestra, Opp. 92 and 134.

Possibly my favorite single short composition is Abschied, the closing piece of Waldszenen.

Steven
Posted by: apple*

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/11/08 09:38 PM

Schnell und Spieland Opus 8 of Kreisleriana..

a rather languid interpretation - (tho i can't play it this well). there are a couple better recordings at Classical Archives.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=PXIWNNXkIzs&feature=related
Posted by: Otis S

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/11/08 09:42 PM

Schumann's piano concerto in A minor (op. 54) is one of my favorites.
Posted by: wdot

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/11/08 09:43 PM

Experience the Symphonic Etudes. All versions. These are wonderful pieces. Quite difficult, but very pianistic.

The Fantasie (Fantasy?) in C is probably his greatest solo piano work. The conclusion of the second movement is, at least to me, almost impossible to play well, but the piece as a whole is just terrific. The third movement is sublime.
Posted by: William A.P.M.

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/11/08 09:51 PM

^ I would have to say that his Fantasy in C major is my favorite work by Schumann. It is one of the most romantic pieces in the piano literature.
Posted by: akonow

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/11/08 10:52 PM

I love Schumann as well. The symphonies are absolutely spectacular (especially the 3rd)! After listening to the symphonies for several days, I found that I began to hear the instruments that Schumann was thinking of in his piano music. Has this happened to anyone else or am I just crazy?
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 12:39 AM

Kinderszenen, Kreisleriana, the Clara Wieck Variations, and the Toccata in C are my absolute favorites from Schumann. I enjoy his chamber music and orchestral music as well.

Horowitz rules where Schumann is concerned. Especially in the Kreisleriana and the Toccata.
Posted by: Janus K. Sachs

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 08:49 AM

I adore Schumann -- and I simply can't stand it when he is dismissed as a second rate composer, or that he's simply known as "the manic-depressive/schizophrenic one, right?" It's much more complicated than that.

My personal favorite work of his is the Fantasy in C Op. 17, which has been mentioned already in this thread. But Schumann has so many wonderful works beyond, say, Kreisleriana, Carnaval, and the Piano Quintet. It is in this spirit that I now list several excellent but lesser known works by Schumann, followed by what I think are excellent recordings:

Fantasy in C -- Larrocha (the only one who follows the dynamics in the last passage of the finale!), Brendel, Dalberto

Drei Fantasiestucke Op. 111 -- Horowitz

Piano Sonata No. 1 -- Grimaud, Perahia, Andsnes

Three String Quartets Op. 41 -- Eroica Qt., Hagen Qt.

Piano Quartet (which I prefer to the quintet) -- Michelangelo Piano Qt., Pressler/Emerson Qt.

Symphonies (#2 being my favorite, but they're all great) -- Gardiner/ORR, Masur/Gewandhaus Orch., Szell/Cleve. Orch.

Paradise and the Peri -- Gardiner/ORR

Scenes from Goethe's Faust -- Abbado/BPO

3 Violin Sonatas -- Faust/Avenhaus

Three Piano Trios (#1 being my personal favorite) -- Florestan Trio, Vienna Piano Trio, Trio Fontenay

Manfred Overture -- Guilini/LAPO

Cello Concerto -- Maisky/Bernstein/VPO

Konzertstuck for Four Horns and Orch. -- soloists/Gardiner/ORR

Frauenliebe und Leben -- Popp/Parsons

Liederkreis Op. 39 -- Danemann/Drake

Impromptus on a theme of Clara Wieck Op. 5 (rarely heard gem!) -- Varjon

Introduction and Allegro Op. 92, Introduction and Allegro Op. 134 -- Perahia/Abbado/BPO, Dalberto/Inbal/VSO

Gesänge der Frühe Op. 133 -- Pollini
Posted by: timmyab

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 11:39 AM

I've become intimately acquainted with Kreisleriana and the piano concerto over the years and I love them a lot.He never shows off and the true beauty of these pieces only struck me after many years of studying them.
I also had a brief fling with Carnaval at one time but never could get my head around Paganini.
One day I'd like to learn my other two favorite pieces of Schumann:The fantasy in C and the symphonic studies.
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 05:26 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by apple*:
Schnell und Spieland Opus 8 of Kreisleriana..

a rather languid interpretation - (tho i can't play it this well). there are a couple better recordings at Classical Archives.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=PXIWNNXkIzs&feature=related [/b]
Nice piano, though!

But Horowitz is king of the Kreisleriana. :p
Posted by: phanofbeethoven

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 05:33 PM

Schumann is a great composer and I regret that I haven't spent a whole lot of time with his music. I've worked on the Abegg variations a little and Davidsbundertanze as well. Basically if you find a piece by Schumann and it's for piano or it's a song you will automatically know that it's good without even having to listen to it!
Posted by: currawong

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 05:48 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Janus Hyde:
Frauenliebe und Leben -- Popp/Parsons[/b]
Oh yes! What a combination!
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 06:36 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by akonow:
I love Schumann as well. The symphonies are absolutely spectacular (especially the 3rd)! After listening to the symphonies for several days, I found that I began to hear the instruments that Schumann was thinking of in his piano music. Has this happened to anyone else or am I just crazy? [/b]
Funny you mention this, because I heard the 3rd on the radio a few weeks ago and got exactly the same feeling.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 06:45 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by currawong:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Janus Hyde:
Frauenliebe und Leben -- Popp/Parsons
Oh yes! What a combination!
Brave people.

Wonderful cycle, just a simple matter of do the poems and sentiment of the music transcend their time? And having performed this with a singer once, the big question arose during rehearsal of the song 'Du Ring an meinem Finger': does the singer look at her finger? And then, how much histrionics in 'Nun hast du mir'?
Posted by: currawong

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 07:31 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
And having performed this with a singer once, the big question arose during rehearsal of the song 'Du Ring an meinem Finger': does the singer look at her finger? [/b]
In my opinion, no, no, no! \:\)

And then, how much histrionics in 'Nun hast du mir'?[/b]

Also, my opinion again, none. Quiet despair, a bit of numb anger ("you rotten man, how dare you die!"), but not histrionics.
Posted by: btb

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 08:44 PM

My introduction to Schumann came via his PC in A and later via a piano-playing admiration for Traumerei and Falling Asleep ... and then an in depth study in the analysis and playing of all
11 pieces contained in the Kinderscenen opus 15.

But later and after tasting the Davidsbundlertanze and more of the Schumann keyboard compositions ... and not finding the same intoxication ... upon reflection over the years , I now look upon Schumann’s works as very Germanic, deadly serious, perfectly polished ... but totally lacking in bonhomie humour.

Sometimes one wonders whether his compositions might have shown more flair (and less dependence on the strict adherence to scalar pattern progressions) ... if he had not irreparably damaged his hand during his youthful courtship of Clara Wieck.
Posted by: Avantgardenabi

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 09:01 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
if he had not irreparably damaged his hand during his youthful courtship of Clara Wieck. [/b]
Yes. He did damage his hand, which definitely affected his career and his life... \:\(


Thank you all for your comments! \:\)
Posted by: akonow

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 09:04 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by btb:
Sometimes one wonders whether his compositions might have shown more flair (and less dependence on the strict adherence to scalar pattern progressions) ... if he had not irreparably damaged his hand during his youthful courtship of Clara Wieck. [/b]
I prefer my Schumann just the way he is. \:D

But in all seriousness, Schumann had a very unique style and, as far as I can tell, he possessed a very personal intimacy with his compositions. Had he written any differently or not reflected his true sentiments, I don't think Schumann would have been the original and endearing composer that everyone has come to know. I imagine Schumann composing away from the piano and simply scribbling down melodies, not worrying about whether his music was flamboyant enough.
Posted by: Fleeting Visions

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/12/08 11:58 PM

1. You can't have a very unique style. Unique can't be qualitative. Something's unique or it's not.

2. Schumann is a very great composer. He's very idiomatic, and often overwraught. He's very awkward, and I am frightened each time I play him.

Kreisleriana is my favorite of his works, although the lieder, Symphonic Etudes, Etudes on Beethoven's 7th Symphony, and the chamber music are all of exceptional value. Much of the rest of his output feels too bourgeois.
Posted by: akonow

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 12:13 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
1. You can't have a very unique style. Unique can't be qualitative. Something's unique or it's not. [/b]
Ah! Grammar police!

I know, I always make that mistake but I suppose I just wanted to accentuate his uniqueness. Thanks for keeping me in check! :p

 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
Much of the rest of his output feels too bourgeois. [/b]
I can't think of any Schumann pieces that I would consider to be "bourgeois" except maybe the F.A.E. Sonata but that's not his fault surely. Carnaval, Papillions, and the Fantasiestucke are inimitable in my opinon.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 12:25 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
He's very idiomatic, and often overwraught.[/b]
I double-checked the correct spelling of "overwrought"—and, in the process, learned that I've been under an unfortunate misapprehension of my own for many years.

I had mistakenly believed "wrought" to be the past participle of "wreak." It is not; "wreaked" is the correct form.

"Wrought" is, instead, a generally archaic (i.e., except for a few specialized uses) past tense and past participle of "work"!

Dang. I'm thinking of the countless times I've said to one or more of my cats, "What kind of havoc have you wrought?" And I'm surprised that none of them has ever deigned to correct me.

Daniel, thanks for making that typo! \:\)

Steven
Posted by: Horowitzian

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 01:33 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by akonow:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
1. You can't have a very unique style. Unique can't be qualitative. Something's unique or it's not. [/b]
Ah! Grammar police!

I know, I always make that mistake but I suppose I just wanted to accentuate his uniqueness. Thanks for keeping me in check! :p

[...] [/b]


\:D
Posted by: Avantgardenabi

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 02:30 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
He's very idiomatic, and often overwraught. He's very awkward...[/b]
He was also somewhat handsome, at least when he was young. \:\)

Here is a portrait of Schumann from Wikipedia:

Posted by: akonow

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 02:33 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Avantgardenabi:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
He's very idiomatic, and often overwraught. He's very awkward...[/b]
He was also somewhat handsome. \:\)
[/b]
Well played, sir. I raise you one Brahms.

Brahms Pictures, Images and Photos
Posted by: Janus K. Sachs

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 07:50 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by currawong:
 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
And having performed this with a singer once, the big question arose during rehearsal of the song 'Du Ring an meinem Finger': does the singer look at her finger? [/b]
In my opinion, no, no, no! \:\)

And then, how much histrionics in 'Nun hast du mir'?[/b]

Also, my opinion again, none. Quiet despair, a bit of numb anger ("you rotten man, how dare you die!"), but not histrionics. [/b]
Yeah, the texts of Frauenliebe have not aged well, but goodness me the gorgeous music is what matters in the end. I count learning and performing it as one of the more notable experiences of my life. Too bad it was with a mezzo -- I wasn't able to perform the work in the original keys.

Ugh, don't get me started on histrionics! The last time I heard Winterreise live, the stage had a table and a chair in addition to a piano. The silly baritone moved from chair to table to various places between -- sometimes between songs, sometimes during songs -- gesticulating and contorting his face all the while! The program notes didn't say anything about the concept behind the "staging" and I couldn't see the bloody point -- except maybe to show how utterly silly it can be to dwell excessively on a breakup (moving aimlessly in a room without going anywhere or doing anything productive, etc.).

Speaking of rings -- I am thankful that most of the sopranos I've seen playing Brünnhilde ignore Wagner's direction to smother the Ring with kisses just before Waltraute's entrance in Götterdämmerung.
Posted by: Fleeting Visions

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 09:38 AM

Thanks SV for the heads up on that faux pa... or should I say foe paw?
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 10:17 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
Thanks SV for the heads up on that faux pa... or should I say foe paw? [/b]
You can say "foe paw" ... as long as you write faux pas! (It's the same form whether singular or plural.) \:\)

Steven
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 12:03 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by argerichfan:
 Quote:
Originally posted by currawong:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Janus Hyde:
Frauenliebe und Leben -- Popp/Parsons
Oh yes! What a combination!
Brave people.

Wonderful cycle, just a simple matter of do the poems and sentiment of the music transcend their time? [/b]
There are some nice piano solo transcriptions of this cycle.
Posted by: Fleeting Visions

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/13/08 01:31 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
Thanks SV for the heads up on that faux pa... or should I say foe paw? [/b]
You can say "foe paw" ... as long as you write faux pas! (It's the same form whether singular or plural.) \:\)

Steven [/b]
I just keep synching lower... ;\) It's Paine full.
Posted by: Robert Kenessy

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 04:35 AM

I guess I'm a thread spoiler but I think Schumann is overrated. I like his piano quintet and some of the pieces of the Kreisleriana. The rest, well, uhmmmm, I'll say nothing about.
Posted by: Anders39

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 07:43 AM

I enjoy the Toccata Op. 7 and the Piano Concerto.
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 10:43 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
I guess I'm a thread spoiler but I think Schumann is overrated. I like his piano quintet and some of the pieces of the Kreisleriana. The rest, well, uhmmmm, I'll say nothing about.
psssst... the 1st symphony has to be one of the most tiresome exercises in tedium that I can currently think of.

Otherwise, sorry mate, Schumann's a favourite, particularly the three glorious works for piano and orchestra, the Eb piano quartet[/b], several of the lieder cycles, and -with a few glaring exceptions- most of the piano music. Then for a terrific, and I think underrated, choral work there's always Das Paradies und die Peri. Some very inspired music there.

Finally, I could not imagine my life without the C major Fantasie. I think it one of the most glorious works ever written in any medium, and Argerich's recording -con somma passione- is one of her landmark achievements.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 12:16 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
I guess I'm a thread spoiler but I think Schumann is overrated....[/b]
It's funny how perceptions differ.

I really thought Schumann is rather underrated, and that that was the premise of this thread. His name looms large, sure, but it often seems as though his music is taken for granted with almost a shrug rather than praised with the passion it deserves IMNSHO.

Of course, if we're talking "underrated," there's a huge number of composers who don't even have the name recognition that Schumann does.

Steven
Posted by: Wood-demon

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 12:33 PM

Schumann's music has certainly generated a lot of negative responses in its time. Chopin reportedly said of it, "I don't call that stuff music" while to Busoni he was "The amateur of Zwickau." Arnold Bax thought that the Schumann Piano Concerto typified the worst type of watered-down romanticism. On the other hand, Moisewitsch loved to play his music above all others and Sviatoslav Richter had a great affinity with Schumann's music.
Personally, I can't raise much enthusiasm for the choral works or Genoveva and can understand why they are neglected. The relative neglect of such lovely works as the 'cello concerto and the concert-piece for 4 horns and orchestra is, far more difficult to fathom.
Posted by: Soleil_nuage

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 01:46 PM

Great thread! I am trying to read up on Schumann because I am working on my first Schumann piece - Of Foreign Lands and People from Kinderscenen. I tried to learn it about two years ago but I crashed and burned. I am doing a second try and this time I am thoroughly enjoying it.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 03:09 PM

I think a majority, myself included, would place Schumann in the top 10 composers of all time especially in a comparison of piano composers. I think the huge majority(90%+) of those familiar with most of his works and the major works of other composers would place him in the top 20.

I don't see why the term "underrated" would apply to him.
Posted by: Fleeting Visions

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 03:11 PM

I think that the best way to see Schumann is a composer of great inconsistency. Some works are of the absolute highest quality, while others are of little to no merit.
Posted by: Iain

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 03:13 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
I think that the best way to see Schumann is a composer of great inconsistency. Some works are of the absolute highest quality, while others are of little to no merit. [/b]
The "best way"? That's a pretty rough generalization and one that is subjective in the extreme. I would very readily say precisely the same thing about Mozart but I doubt many people here would agree. What works have no merit?
Posted by: Iain

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 03:19 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
I guess I'm a thread spoiler but I think Schumann is overrated....[/b]
It's funny how perceptions differ.

I really thought Schumann is rather underrated, and that that was the premise of this thread. His name looms large, sure, but it often seems as though his music is taken for granted with almost a shrug rather than praised with the passion it deserves IMNSHO.
[/b]
Agreed. Very underrated considering the very few works that most people have heard, maybe 1 symphony, the piano concerto, and a smattering of solo piano works?

Some of his music is the most inspired and sometimes heart-rending of any of the romantics. I consider him to be the original romantic, the others, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, are still very classical.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 03:20 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
I think a majority, myself included, would place Schumann in the top 10 composers of all time especially in a comparison of piano composers. I think the huge majority(90%+) of those familiar with most of his works and the major works of other composers would place him in the top 20.

I don't see why the term "underrated" would apply to him. [/b]
It's a matter of perspective and personal taste, I think.

Ranking someone in the Top 20 (or even Top 10) could be considered 'damning by faint praise' by someone who believes he merits a higher ranking.

FWIW, I have more Schumann in my sheet music collection than any other composer save for one (guess who? ;\) ), so you know he scores way higher than Top 10 with me!

Steven
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 03:41 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Iain:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
Some works are of the absolute highest quality, while others are of little to no merit.
What works have no merit?
Yeah, which ones?

If the Lord suddenly descended onto Earth and said 'From now on, every time you program a Schumann symphony, it must instead be one by Beethoven, Mendelssohn or Brahms', I wouldn't feel any profound loss. But with the exception of the last mov't of the 1st, they all have some merit. ;\)
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/14/08 03:54 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Iain:
Agreed. Very underrated considering the very few works that most people have heard, maybe 1 symphony, the piano concerto, and a smattering of solo piano works?
[/b]
Depends what you mean by "most people". If you mean people with only a small knowledge/exposure to classical piano music than anything is possible. Those people would have a limited knowledge of any composer's works.

I think the Abegg Variations, Davidsbundler, Papillons, Toccata, 3 Sonatas, Kinderscenen, Carnival, Fantasy in C, Symphonic Etudes, Fantasy Pieces, Arabesque, Kreisleriana, and Carnival Jest of Vienna are in general all well known to those with a good knowledge of piano literature. And I would also say that these pieces are frequently performed and considered staples of the piano literature by professional pianists.
Posted by: bossie

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/19/08 01:45 AM

Hi,

Do you know which pieces are the easier pieces to play other than Traumerei and Album for the young?

Thanks.

Bossie
Posted by: btb

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/19/08 08:06 AM

Hi bossie,

Here’s a charming piece of Schumann music which everybody should learn during their early days at the piano ... from Kinderscenen ... the opening

"Foreign Lands and People" ("Von Fremden Landern und Menschen")

22 measures on one page in the key of G ... totally captivating.

from foreign lands and people by schumann 15-1
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/19/08 08:29 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by bossie:
Do you know which pieces are the easier pieces to play other than Traumerei and Album for the young?[/b]
I recommend Waldscenen ("Forest Scenes") Op. 82.

Steven
Posted by: soundboard79

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/19/08 08:42 AM

Let's not forget the Arabeske Op. 18!

A delightful little salon piece that is incredibly fun to play. I've always wanted to program it as a second encore.
Posted by: bossie

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/19/08 09:01 AM

Thanks. Let me try in these few days .. \:\)
Posted by: cinodapistoia

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/19/08 10:02 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
 Quote:
Originally posted by bossie:
Do you know which pieces are the easier pieces to play other than Traumerei and Album for the young?[/b]
I recommend Waldscenen ("Forest Scenes") Op. 82.

Steven [/b]
I, too, feel Schumann's style is unique, and very difficult to play well (in a musically convincing sense). I also happen to love most of what he has written, though I must admit I developed more of a rapport with his music a bit later in my life. Perhaps one must oneself be bipolar really to grasp it ( ;\) I'm only half serious here, but whereas I think it is very easy to exaggerate or become overly sentimental with Chopin, the story is somewhat different for Schumann).

Anyway, I'm replying to Steven's comment because I adore the Waldscenen and wonder why, among all of his works for solo piano, these are so infrequently played. Several of them are actually rather challenging technically (particularly the two "hunting" vignettes). But the "Bird as Prophet" is one of the most haunting things he wrote (along with the second mvt. of the piano quintet).

Al
Posted by: cinodapistoia

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/19/08 10:19 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Iain:
Some of his music is the most inspired and sometimes heart-rending of any of the romantics. I consider him to be the original romantic, the others, Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, are still very classical. [/QB]
This is also my feeling. The statement is justified not only musically, given the quasi-programmatic inspiration he often takes from Romantic German literature.
Posted by: ecm

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/19/08 07:31 PM

His Fantasiestucke op.12 (which I am currently working on) never stops to amaze me.
Amazing piece of music, and every single time I hear it and feel it differently.
He has a wonderful style, I won't say original because it is a very relative thing, no?
But I have to say, I adore his music much more than Schubert's because I still can't understand Schubert quite well. I know it might change in time.
Posted by: sotto voce

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/19/08 07:41 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ecm:
But I have to say, I adore his music much more than Schubert's because I still can't understand Schubert quite well. I know it might change in time. [/b]
Dino, I was late to appreciate Schubert, too.

The turning point was when I stopped expecting him to be Romantic (or proto-Romantic, at least) and started considering his piano style in the tradition of Haydn and Beethoven instead.

Steven
Posted by: Avantgardenabi

Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :) - 11/20/08 03:49 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ecm:

But I have to say, I adore his music much more than Schubert's because I still can't understand Schubert quite well. I know it might change in time. [/b]
This applies to me, too. I do not listen to Schubert's pieces very often... \:\(

But I still love his Moment Musical No. 3. It is just stunning. \:\)