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#405151 - 07/29/07 03:06 PM Papillons Op. 2  
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Loki Offline
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Let's talk about this piece. ( Schumann - Papillons Op. 2 )
(just to warn everyone ahead of time, i like threads where we talk about one piece i'll probably starting a lot like this one).

It seems to me that this piece is underperformed. Now, it's possible that its just due to the length, but i still think that its an amazing piece of music. What are your thoughts on that or anything else regarding this piece?


Houston, Texas
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#405152 - 07/29/07 03:14 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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With piano pros using the bigger Schumann works to represent the genius of Schumann, occasionally, the 'smaller' scope works are lost in the shuffle. However, Horowitz used 'Kinderscenen' to his fullest advantage, and the 'Papillons' is a wonderful work that uses Schumann's basic 'characters' in miniature form. It is a nice piece on a program surrounded by larger works--a breath of fresh air.

#405153 - 07/29/07 05:22 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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i really like this big piece (and do not know it in entirety) however.. i have learned #3 and #8, 9, 10 and the finale..

maybe someday.

#3 particularly is a great octave study and perfect for a quick, unusual little something to play.

i am quite drawn to Schumann and am looking forward to learning some of the bigger works.


accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
#405154 - 07/29/07 07:08 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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Well...the piece is based on the masked ball scene from Jean-Paul's "Flegeljahre." There is a very good article on the topic by Schumann scholar Erik Jensen (author of one of the major English-language biographies of Schumann.) The citation:

Explicating Jean Paul: Robert Schumann's Program for "Papillons," Op. 2
Eric Frederick Jensen
19th-Century Music, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Autumn, 1998), pp. 127-143

The interesting thing is that Schumann actually annotated his copy of Flegeljahre with notes indicating which piece goes with which passage. An English translation of these passages can be found in the appendix of John Daverio's biography on Schumann.

The work could be said to constitute a manifesto of sorts on Schumann's ideas regarding literature and music. It was his first work with literary ties - notable others being Carnaval (on Commedia dell'arte characters) and the Kreisleriana (inspired by the writings of E.T.A. Hoffmann.) Many of Schumann's other early piano works are also loosely programmatic, even if they don't directly reference literary works (I'm thinking here of Op. 6, Op. 15, and Op. 19.)

The work is underplayed mostly because its difficulty lies in the interpretation and not in the technique. It's also a bit awkward in spots - it doesn't sound as pianistically natural as Chopin or as lyrically natural as Schubert. The pieces also don't stand alone particularly well, unlike those of Op. 12 or Op. 15. These are qualities it shares with Op. 6, also a wonderful set that deserves to be heard more often.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#405155 - 07/29/07 07:55 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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I heard it played in its entirety the other day and found it a wonderful compostion. I was only familiar with the Finale, which I have heard played as a separate piece. I was surprised that the announcer said Papillons was very Chopinesque. I did not find it so.

I think many of Schumann's smaller works are underrated. One that I find interesting is The Prophet Bird, yet rarely is it played in concerts. Gaby Tu

#405156 - 07/30/07 12:59 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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You don't like #11? That's the piece I 'had' to learn.

(after listening to Max Levinson's recording)


Chopin Bolero Op.19 / Chopin Polonaise-Fantasy Op. 61
Chopin Piano Concerto No.1/No.2 (2nd movement)
Schumann Piano Concerto

John
#405157 - 07/30/07 11:48 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
Well...the piece is based on the masked ball scene from Jean-Paul's "Flegeljahre."
Im not familiar with this play (is it a play? all the links i found through google were in german). Can you give me an idea of what its about?


and also, how is the Papillons pronounced?? is it exactly like its spelled?


Houston, Texas
#405158 - 07/30/07 12:51 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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Pap-ee-owns (though don't give it a hard 'n' sound at the end - just a hint of an 'n')


What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.
#405159 - 07/30/07 04:40 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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Ah, okay. I was saying the "l" sound. thanks.


Houston, Texas
#405160 - 07/30/07 05:58 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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Flegeljahre is a novel by the German romantic writer Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (usually shortened to just "Jean Paul".)

The title is literally "years of flight" but refers to a person's adolescent years, especially as regards raging hormones.

In the book (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm going from memory here), the main characters are Walt and Vult. They are twin brothers. There's also a girl. Boys meet girl, there's a masked ball. Masks are exchanged. Confessions, anger, surprises - think Cyrano de Bergerac.

I found this online that might be useful:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Sv785yYCL1YC

Go to the bottom of page 140 and you'll get the basic idea.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#405161 - 07/31/07 01:36 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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Thanks for the link, but the preview doesnt let me see page 140 frown


Houston, Texas
#405162 - 07/31/07 09:52 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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Under contents, click "more" and click the Schumann chapter...


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#405163 - 07/31/07 11:44 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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well, i did and it takes me to chapter 9 pg 136, and after that it says "pgs. 137-238 arent part of this book preview".


Houston, Texas
#405164 - 08/01/07 12:54 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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Weird...mine says pp. 145-238 aren't a part of the preview. Try to find it at a library - it's really great material!


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#405165 - 08/01/07 12:58 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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alright ill look. thanks for the info.


Houston, Texas
#405166 - 08/01/07 05:48 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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I've heard this work as well in it's entirety a few years ago when my teacher performed it in concert. I have since read through various pieces within the suite, and would like to play the complete Papillons someday.

John


Nothing.
#405167 - 08/01/07 11:48 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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This is a great first 'big' Schumann piece to study. Each miniature has some musical and or technical aspect to concentrate on. I studied this piece years ago and my dear teacher had me learning it in a complete random order -- starting me with some of the more technically demanding parts. It was funny... I remember playing it at one of Mrs. Cooper's 'musicales', as she called her quarterly recitals. She had merely put on the programme - Papillons -- Schumann, so naturally 99% of the audience didn't realize it was a group of short pieces. (They thought it would be like 'Prophet Bird' or 'Romance'. They enjoyed it (I think) but I can imagine being in the audience and just having it go on and on and on....etc. (we've all been there!)

#405168 - 08/05/07 02:58 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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I'm also working on Papillons now as sort of my first "official" large work assignment. My teacher is pretty fond of it and I must admit, I wasn't particularly excited to learn it. But it has grown on me, especially after listening to Cecile Licad's recording.

My teacher also made me tackle the harder parts first. Interpreting this work is far harder than the technical challenges though. My score doesn't have the literary annotations so a lot more imagination is required.

#405169 - 08/06/07 06:24 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2  
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^One day i hope to learn it.

Now that ive listened to it so much, it doesnt really feel so long.


Houston, Texas
#2053782 - 03/25/13 02:36 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2 [Re: Loki]  
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I would like to thank Kreisler for his contribution for this forum.
For anyone studying this piece I would recommend watching the video below where Janos Solyom explains the whole piece and after that he plays his interpretation.
Unfortunately, it is speaked in Swedish without translation to English.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTVexDBWVgU

To listen, I recommend Nelson Freire's recording for Decca:

http://www.amazon.com/Schumann-Carn...=8-1&keywords=nelson+freire+schumann


Thanks everyone

#2053813 - 03/25/13 05:54 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2 [Re: Loki]  
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This is my first experience of Papillons Opus 2 by Schumann (who is my favourite composer) ...
but might I suggest that the “fresh” opus number 2 is suggestive of a very early work and likely to jangle ... Beethoven wrote some crummy stuff with his triple opus 2, being still under the influence of his mentors Haydn and Mozart.

So far I’ve completed the playing of the Introduzione and No. 1 ... No great shakes ... typical Schumann going on an octave ramble.


But looking ahead to the Prestissimo of No. 2 (bottom of the page) Schumann, in dramatic fashion, blasts off with a Prestissimo ff. (Hope the neighbours are distant and taking their dog for a walk ...
otherwise there might be the desist warning of rocks on my tin roof) ... better take this passage piano.

#2053882 - 03/25/13 09:14 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2 [Re: Loki]  
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I really can't stand this piece... out of all Schumann, it's probably my least favourite piece. (maybe a tie between that and Wanderer...) It's a lot of the same thing over and over, I feel like nothing really happens in there!

(and yes, I've played it - before anyone starts throwing things at me)



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
#2053901 - 03/25/13 10:03 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2 [Re: Pogorelich.]  
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
I really can't stand this piece... out of all Schumann, it's probably my least favourite piece. (maybe a tie between that and Wanderer...) It's a lot of the same thing over and over, I feel like nothing really happens in there!

(and yes, I've played it - before anyone starts throwing things at me)
I kind of like Papillons but I agree with you on the Wanderer.

#2053902 - 03/25/13 10:05 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2 [Re: Pogorelich.]  
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I just put it aside. smile + frown

Op. 2 is sophisticated. It is just hard to play it well and do it justice. For me, I found Mephisto Waltz to be easier in my hands.

Last edited by ABC Vermonter; 03/25/13 10:05 AM.
#2053963 - 03/25/13 11:43 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2 [Re: btb]  
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Originally Posted by btb
This is my first experience of Papillons Opus 2 by Schumann (who is my favourite composer) ...[...]


You weren't tempted to try it when this post was started six years ago?

Cheers, mate!


BruceD
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#2053972 - 03/25/13 11:58 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2 [Re: btb]  
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Originally Posted by btb
Beethoven wrote some crummy stuff with his triple opus 2...


Nope. It's excellent. Perhaps even surprisingly good. smile

-J


Beethoven op.110, Chopin op.27/2, Liszt Vallée d'Obermann
#2053989 - 03/25/13 12:38 PM Re: Papillons Op. 2 [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by btb
This is my first experience of Papillons Opus 2 by Schumann (who is my favourite composer) ...[...]


You weren't tempted to try it when this post was started six years ago?

Cheers, mate!


It was actually Rienzi who revived it first, but he can be forgiven for forgetting to check the dates because he's a new member. smile


Regards,

Polyphonist
#2054927 - 03/27/13 01:42 AM Re: Papillons Op. 2 [Re: Loki]  
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It appears that we all think that Schumann’s early work Papillons Opus 2 is a load of codswallops ... but oh my, what was to follow !!

My all time favourite is Kinderscenen opus 15 ...
with 13 glimpses of genius including

Foreign Lands and People
A Strange Story
Game of Tig
The Entreating Child
Happiness
An Important Event
Traumerei
By the Fireside
The Knight of the Hobby Horse
Almost Too Serious
Frightening
Falling Asleep
The Poet Speaks

Any of our number who have missed out on this work
should mend their ways ... and give it a trundle.

PS Don’t let anybody bluff you that “Traumerei” is a piece of cake ... In his “dreaming”, Schumann laces a highly imaginative and complex meshing of statements by the two hands ... must have played this piece a thousand times ... and still need improvement.


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