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Which is your favourite of the 8 parts of Schumanns Kreisleriana?
Which do you find the hardest to play and why?

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Hardest: Probably the sort-of-fugal part in one of the latter movements -- I think the 3rd-to-last movement.

No no, changed my mind -- the hardest part is the opening, with those leaps.
BTW, it has a repeat, which means you always get a second chance. grin
I heard a story second-hand (so don't know for sure if it's true, but let's say it's true) grin .....One time in a recital, the guy messed up the final leap up to the high D in that opening, but he figured, hey, it's OK, it gets repeated, and of course I'll get it on the second try. Well, he messed it up on the repeat too -- so he played it a third time. ha
The story ends there, so I assume he did get the high D on the third try.

Favorite part: Just about everything.

Side note: One of the movements has the marking "Durchaus leise zu halten" at the beginning. Even though I sort of knew German, I didn't stop to think what it meant; I just figured that was the name of some song (i.e. lied) that he took the melody from. Later, I realized that it wasn't that at all -- it's a tempo indication/expressive indication, meaning "softly and slowly throughout."
But the thing is, those words "Durchaus leise zu halten" fit the melody perfectly.

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2 is probably my favorite, especially that 2nd intermezzo section.

The last is probably the most difficult - memorizing all those weird rhythmic offsets is tricky. Technically, 3 is the most awkward for me.


"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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For me #7 is the trickiest one because of those frenzied counterpoint sections. You can cheat and play it with your right hand, but playing it as written is a feat!

I love the entire cycle to death, so dark and so pretty.

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I love the 7th movement. It captures "stromy Schumann" perfectly IMO. It could have been a great short sonata movement.
I highly recommend listening to Argerich play it, she's just so wonderful when playing Schumann (even though I generally like her less).


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Hi, gimlilala123! Although the whole set of pieces is masterful, I have two favorite sections -- the "B" section of #3, and all of #6. Nobody harmonized scales as effectively as Schumann, and that section is one of his most beautiful efforts. For some reason, I relate to #6 as the philosophical centerpiece of the entire work -- dark, brooding, but somehow warm and hopeful.

I would have to say that the most difficult for me is #1, only because it starts so cruelly, with all those upward arpeggios.
But the sections others have alluded to are demanding as well -- you have to be physically strong to play Schumann!

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The first part gives me the shivers, the rest is ok, the last part is the hardest: to die away when already dead is difficult. Overall: I think this is Schumann's 3rd best piece, after the Toccata and the Fantasie.


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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
....the last part is the hardest: to die away when already dead is difficult....

Just changed my mind again about the hardest part. grin
(The smiley is to announce a joke, except it's sort of true.)

When I've played that movement just for myself, which is all I've ever done, for the last note I go down to a low-low A (the lowest note on an 88-key piano), rather than back up, to the G. I figure that nobody can really hear the difference between that A and a G (hyperbole here; I know that some people could hear the difference, and in fact lots of you will probably feel like piping in with "I can hear the difference!") grin ....and that everyone except the people who really know the piece will think it's a G, and maybe even some of the people who know the piece won't be realizing that I'm playing an A rather than a G......

The hardest thing about performing the piece would be to not go down to the A, which I don't think I'd let myself do in an actual performance. ha


BTW, I can hear the difference too, but if I wasn't thinking about it, in a context like this I probably wouldn't realize it wasn't a G.

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Don't know if I can call any of the harder than the other. Most of the pieces had their challenges. I found #1 difficult for speed and accuracy, getting the opening octaves in #2 to sound like they were a single line, the end of #3 (also my favourite part), #7, getting the 6/8 dotted rhythms in #8 to stay dotted (many professional recordings don't do this either).

Pretty much only #4 was "easy".

Favourite parts: impishness of #5, #6 opening (especially in contrast to what came before it), #7 on those rare instances where everything played so easily.


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Originally Posted by dolce sfogato
The first part gives me the shivers, the rest is ok, the last part is the hardest: to die away when already dead is difficult. Overall: I think this is Schumann's 3rd best piece, after the Toccata and the Fantasie.


I have a soft spot for Humoreske as well. It is strange through and through, but emotionally as deep as the ocean.

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My favorite part: when it's over.

The hardest part: sitting through it.

laugh

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Originally Posted by gimlilala123
Which is your favourite of the 8 parts of Schumanns Kreisleriana?
Which do you find the hardest to play and why?

I found my ancient score of it - it was the second major Schumann piece I learnt with my teacher, after Carnaval grin.

The first movement took the most work to 'perfect' and get up to speed, but after that, it wasn't too tricky, and became quite fun to play (good workout for my fingers wink ). It overtook the second piece as my favorite after that......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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