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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Stubbie #2912344 11/15/19 11:17 AM
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How big of a jump is it to Waldszenen, Op. 82? Or is there something else by Schumann that would be a more logical follow-on to Kinderszenen?


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Stubbie #2912375 11/15/19 12:28 PM
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It's not a huge jump to most of the pieces in Op. 82 though a couple might be a bigger step. Most of them are about the same.

The harder pieces, 2. Jaeger auf Lauer and 8. Jagdlied may be difficult to get up to tempo. How much harder they are may depend on what other pieces you've learned.


Richard
Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Stubbie #2912397 11/15/19 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Most of them look straightforward on paper, but contain all sorts of goodies to deal with, particularly melody lines that move from voice to voice. They're not too long, so you can learn the notes fairly quickly--but complex enough to spend forever and a day polishing.

My favorites so far: No. 1, About Strange Lands and People, No. 7, Traumerei, and No. 8, By the Fireside.

I'd like to hear which ones you've played and what your favorites are (if any). Also, for those who have played the last four pieces, what you thought of them--I haven't heard them discussed much (at all).


I was thrilled when I brought Kinderszenen to my teacher this summer and he said I was capable of playing No. 1 - something I didn't think was possible yet (I had just returned to piano after 50 years and had had only 3 years of piano as a child). No. 1 has been a favorite ever since it was featured in the beautiful Australian film My Brilliant Career, which I saw in 1979 when I was in college. Being an opera performer most of my life and not very familiar with piano repertoire, I didn't know what it was until many years later, when a character on Star Trek: Voyager played it and I was able to look it up on IMDB.

Working on No. 1 with my wonderful teacher has been a revelation to me in terms of melodic and voicing complexity, fingering challenges, and sheer musical artistry. I discover something new about it every day, and every day it makes me a better pianist. It's hard work but more than worth it.

My favorite recording of Kinderszenen is Horowitz's. I saw Jan Lisiecki play No. 7 as an encore at Tanglewood this summer and I wept. I'm very much looking forward to learning all the pieces eventually.


Linda

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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Stubbie #2912408 11/15/19 01:49 PM
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I grew up in Australia but I missed the connection between My Brilliant Career and Of Foreign Lands and Peoples which I only recently came to appreciate. It took a colleague from my work (An Australian who lives in the Netherlands) whom I've discussed classical music with and I shared a recording of me playing the same with her to point this out.

I totally agree it is worth putting in the effort for.

LCantoni - you have reminded me again that I should checkout Album for the Young, I suspect I would enjoy very much learning some simpler Schumann hopefully well within my grasp to play as I would like to hear them played.

My favourite youtube recording of Kinderszenen is Daniil Trifonov.


Last edited by KevinM; 11/15/19 01:53 PM.
Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
zrtf90 #2912413 11/15/19 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
It's not a huge jump to most of the pieces in Op. 82 though a couple might be a bigger step. Most of them are about the same.

The harder pieces, 2. Jaeger auf Lauer and 8. Jagdlied may be difficult to get up to tempo. How much harder they are may depend on what other pieces you've learned.


Thank you. I'll be working on finishing Op. 15 for several more months, but it's never too early to put a request for the Op. 82 score on my Christmas wish list.


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Stubbie #2912522 11/15/19 06:46 PM
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What a time to return to this forums :-) Not only did I find an open recital submission thread, there is one about Kinderszenen too! :-)

I love this set, wholeheartedly. I worked on No.3 Hasche-Mann many years back (actually, if I remember correctly, I played it for the Schumann e-Cital here!) and thought it was way out of my league. I'm definitely not proud of that recording! Since then my story with Kinderszenen was mostly on and off. I read through some of those pieces but never really approached them properly. Recently I've decided to finally go for it with full seriousness and it's a revelation for me. Virtually all of them are much harder than they seem, but also much more rewarding that I would expect!

Reading through them is one thing, but being meticulous with articulations, holding notes, bringing out the melody, maintaining proper legato, bringing that up to speed and having a good quality, lush sound - there is lots and lots of moving parts there to work on. I enjoy working on these thoroughly and I really feel they are making me a better pianist. Things I learn there tend to surface in all other pieces very quickly. I do hope to record a full set one day :-)

I don't think there is a single one in the set I don't enjoy one way or another.

One of my favourite performances is by Martha Argerich

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wohphPe5u_g

but a very beautiful rendition is also a part of one of the very last recitals of Paul Badura-Skoda:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rduDr4xwCFI&t=1781s


Best!
M.


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Mati #2912579 11/15/19 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mati
.......Reading through them is one thing, but being meticulous with articulations, holding notes, bringing out the melody, maintaining proper legato, bringing that up to speed and having a good quality, lush sound - there is lots and lots of moving parts there to work on. I enjoy working on these thoroughly and I really feel they are making me a better pianist. Things I learn there tend to surface in all other pieces very quickly. I do hope to record a full set one day :-) .....

Exactly! There are so many layers to work through. I could see working through the set and then coming back to them in another year or so to see how my skills and my perspective on them might have changed.


P.S. Welcome back!


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Stubbie #2912583 11/15/19 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by Mati
.......Reading through them is one thing, but being meticulous with articulations, holding notes, bringing out the melody, maintaining proper legato, bringing that up to speed and having a good quality, lush sound - there is lots and lots of moving parts there to work on. I enjoy working on these thoroughly and I really feel they are making me a better pianist. Things I learn there tend to surface in all other pieces very quickly. I do hope to record a full set one day :-) .....

Exactly! There are so many layers to work through. I could see working through the set and then coming back to them in another year or so to see how my skills and my perspective on them might have changed.
But all those things listed apply to virtually every great piece of music as much as the pieces in Kinderscenen,

Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
pianoloverus #2912664 11/16/19 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
But all those things listed apply to virtually every great piece of music as much as the pieces in Kinderscenen,


You're most certainly right.

The thing is, at least from where I stand, Kindeszenen has a bit of the bad rep. Many of my friends who had formal education through music schools learned these very early on as it was (or maybe still is) a popular exam piece in early grades. As such, it's often treated as "pieces for children" and many will never revisit the set later to discover how much more it can bring to the table. I always thought it deserves more praise. :-)


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Stubbie #2912672 11/16/19 06:47 AM
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Kinderszenen is not "pieces for children", that's the Album for the Young, Op. 68. Kinderszenen is a collection of childhood memories as seen through adult eyes.

Schumann's writing is not as simple as many pieces written in the melody and accompaniment style. There are harder pieces than these with simpler writing, such as many of Chopin's Waltzes, Mazurkas and Nocturnes. Here we have melodies and harmonies divided between the hands, often with some counterpoint, crossed hands and crossed rhythms. They demand a greater technique than you can get from scales and arpeggios.

It's these layers that need unpicking when trying to get to Schumann's music.


Richard
Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Mati #2912700 11/16/19 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Mati
The thing is, at least from where I stand, Kindeszenen has a bit of the bad rep. Many of my friends who had formal education through music schools learned these very early on as it was (or maybe still is) a popular exam piece in early grades. As such, it's often treated as "pieces for children" and many will never revisit the set later to discover how much more it can bring to the table. I always thought it deserves more praise. :-)
It's a very popular repertoire piece for the greatest pianists past and present.

Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
pianoloverus #2912708 11/16/19 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Stubbie
Originally Posted by Mati
.......Reading through them is one thing, but being meticulous with articulations, holding notes, bringing out the melody, maintaining proper legato, bringing that up to speed and having a good quality, lush sound - there is lots and lots of moving parts there to work on. I enjoy working on these thoroughly and I really feel they are making me a better pianist. Things I learn there tend to surface in all other pieces very quickly. I do hope to record a full set one day :-) .....

Exactly! There are so many layers to work through. I could see working through the set and then coming back to them in another year or so to see how my skills and my perspective on them might have changed.
But all those things listed apply to virtually every great piece of music as much as the pieces in Kinderscenen,

Of course. Otherwise it wouldn't be great music.


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
zrtf90 #2912719 11/16/19 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Kinderszenen is not "pieces for children", that's the Album for the Young, Op. 68. Kinderszenen is a collection of childhood memories as seen through adult eyes........
Yes.

According to the front material in the Alfred Masterworks edition, the names for the pieces came after they were written.
Quote
...The selections are not programme music in the strictest sense. The poetic titles were found, Schumann himself stated, after the work was written. When someone gave an explanation of one of the pieces, Schumann said, "I suppose he thinks I visualize a crying child and then try to find the right notes. Just the opposite is the case."
It's not clear from what is written in the Alfred's edition whether Schumann or an editor added the names. Anyone know?


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
zrtf90 #2929148 01/01/20 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
Kinderszenen is not "pieces for children", that's the Album for the Young, Op. 68. Kinderszenen is a collection of childhood memories as seen through adult eyes.

Schumann's writing is not as simple as many pieces written in the melody and accompaniment style. There are harder pieces than these with simpler writing, such as many of Chopin's Waltzes, Mazurkas and Nocturnes. Here we have melodies and harmonies divided between the hands, often with some counterpoint, crossed hands and crossed rhythms. They demand a greater technique than you can get from scales and arpeggios.

It's these layers that need unpicking when trying to get to Schumann's music.


IMO this is all correct. However, I’ve worked on 7 and 1 and just don’t share the love for these pieces. Regardless, I appreciate the little tricks and difficulties and think they’re valuable to learn. Maybe if I give it more time, I’ll get more from them but I have so many other projects to work on that I’m not sure I will. We’ll see.

On a quick sight read 12 looks fun. It would take a little time to get the rhythm correct.


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Stubbie #2929169 01/01/20 10:50 PM
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Some people find no. 7 (Traumerei/Reverie)--sappy? Sentimental? It is sentimental (as the title suggests). No. 1 I like for its simple straightforwardness and harmonies. I enjoyed playing it.

I am just finishing up on no. 13, The Poet Speaks, which completes the set for me.

Right now my favorites are nos. 1, 7, 8 and 12. I didn't care for nos. 2, 9, and 10. No. 5 (Gluckes genug, Perfect Happiness) was just too difficult for me without spending a lot more time on it. The remainder were nice, I thought. There was a good mix of different techniques, and the pieces were short so there wasn't a huge amount of time committed to them. They were nice little snacks to work into my usual diet of big, difficult pieces that take me forever to learn.


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
cmb13 #2929231 01/02/20 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cmb13

IMO this is all correct. However, I’ve worked on 7 and 1 and just don’t share the love for these pieces. Regardless, I appreciate the little tricks and difficulties and think they’re valuable to learn. Maybe if I give it more time, I’ll get more from them but I have so many other projects to work on that I’m not sure I will. We’ll see.

On a quick sight read 12 looks fun. It would take a little time to get the rhythm correct.


I'm doing just 4 of the series. 1, 3, 4, and 13. 1 and 13 done, currently working on 3 and 4. I enjoy these pieces. I have a lot of freedom to select the pieces I want. I don't think there are skills there that you could gain from learning any of them that you couldn't gain elsewhere. If I was you I would not bother with them.

Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
KevinM #2929365 01/02/20 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by cmb13

IMO this is all correct. However, I’ve worked on 7 and 1 and just don’t share the love for these pieces. Regardless, I appreciate the little tricks and difficulties and think they’re valuable to learn. Maybe if I give it more time, I’ll get more from them but I have so many other projects to work on that I’m not sure I will. We’ll see.

On a quick sight read 12 looks fun. It would take a little time to get the rhythm correct.


I'm doing just 4 of the series. 1, 3, 4, and 13. 1 and 13 done, currently working on 3 and 4. I enjoy these pieces. I have a lot of freedom to select the pieces I want. I don't think there are skills there that you could gain from learning any of them that you couldn't gain elsewhere. If I was you I would not bother with them.
I found no. 3 a good staccato workout; no. 4 is nice. I am not caring for no. 13 at this point (I think I'm finding it on the bland side), especially after coming off no. 12, which I like.

How did you come to pick the four that you're working on? I do think that listening to a piece, while serving as a reasonable basis for choosing to learn it, doesn't generally give one a good feel for the nuances of learning and playing it. Kinderszenen does require a number of skills and does so in the context of short pieces that one can work through in a relatively short time. Certainly one could learn the skills from other composers or other works; no one composer or set of works has a lock on skills. As I mentioned in an above post, the brevity of the pieces is a plus for me, as most of the other things I'm working on take much (much) longer for me to learn.



Last edited by Stubbie; 01/02/20 12:40 PM. Reason: Boy, do I want to write 'Kinderzenen' rather than 'Kinderszenen.'

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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
Stubbie #2929378 01/02/20 01:02 PM
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With you on the brevity - it's nice to have a piece I can play in a few days and learn to my satisfaction in a few weeks. The bigger pieces I'm working on take months. So, yes, this is a nice supplement in that way.


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Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
Some people find no. 7 (Traumerei/Reverie)--sappy? Sentimental? It is sentimental (as the title suggests). No. 1 I like for its simple straightforwardness and harmonies. I enjoyed playing it.




That is because no one is actually playing N°7 at the proper tempo. It is not a sentimental piece initially, as it is titled dreaming. The tempo is 100 quarters by Schumann and 80 by Clara. Most pro are playing it at 50 or lower. The closest I have heard is by Badura Skoda who plays it between 64 and 70.

When played faster, it sounds exactly what the title says. I actually see Schumann to be more whimsical than sentimental most of the time.

Re: An Appreciation of Kinderzenen Op. 15 by Schumann
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
[quote=KevinM]
How did you come to pick the four that you're working on? I do think that listening to a piece, while serving as a reasonable basis for choosing to learn it, doesn't generally give one a good feel for the nuances of learning and playing it. Kinderszenen does require a number of skills and does so in the context of short pieces that one can work through in a relatively short time. Certainly one could learn the skills from other composers or other works; no one composer or set of works has a lock on skills. As I mentioned in an above post, the brevity of the pieces is a plus for me, as most of the other things I'm working on take much (much) longer for me to learn.


I really liked listening to the first, so that was the first one I learnt. I started learning no 3. but it kind of is beyond my skill level, I have only started on it again after an 8 week break from it. I like how No 13. sounds and it was easy for me to learn, the input from my teacher on it was a couple of pointers about emphasis and that was it and no 4 was just recently selected. I chose that one by listening to the series again and noting the ones I liked to hear, and then poked at 3 of them to determine which would be manageable for me to learn.

I really enjoy using no 1 as my warm up piece now. It is thoroughly in my fingers.

Last edited by KevinM; 01/02/20 01:15 PM.
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