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#500726 - 11/11/08 09:40 PM Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Avantgardenabi Offline
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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. smile )

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

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. smile

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

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#500727 - 11/11/08 09:52 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.

#500728 - 11/11/08 09:59 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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

#500729 - 11/11/08 10:38 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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apple* Offline
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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


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

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)
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#500730 - 11/11/08 10:42 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Schumann's piano concerto in A minor (op. 54) is one of my favorites.

#500731 - 11/11/08 10:43 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.

#500732 - 11/11/08 10:51 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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^ 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.

#500733 - 11/11/08 11:52 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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? help


Bach - WTC I in C major & C minor (BWV 846-847)
Mozart - Sonata K 282
Chopin - Polonaises Op 26
Schumann - Fantasiestücke Op 12
#500734 - 11/12/08 01:39 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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. eek wow


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#500735 - 11/12/08 09:49 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Betelgeuse, baby!
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


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
#500736 - 11/12/08 12:39 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.

#500737 - 11/12/08 06:26 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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
Nice piano, though! thumb

But Horowitz is king of the Kreisleriana. :p


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#500738 - 11/12/08 06:33 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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!


"Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors."

~Ludwig van Beethoven~
#500739 - 11/12/08 06:48 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Quote
Originally posted by Janus Hyde:
Frauenliebe und Leben -- Popp/Parsons
Oh yes! What a combination!


Du holde Kunst...
#500740 - 11/12/08 07:36 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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? help
Funny you mention this, because I heard the 3rd on the radio a few weeks ago and got exactly the same feeling.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#500741 - 11/12/08 07:45 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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'?


Jason
#500742 - 11/12/08 08:31 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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?
In my opinion, no, no, no! smile

And then, how much histrionics in 'Nun hast du mir'?

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


Du holde Kunst...
#500743 - 11/12/08 09:44 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.

#500744 - 11/12/08 10:01 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Quote
Originally posted by btb:
if he had not irreparably damaged his hand during his youthful courtship of Clara Wieck.
Yes. He did damage his hand, which definitely affected his career and his life... frown


Thank you all for your comments! smile

#500745 - 11/12/08 10:04 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.
I prefer my Schumann just the way he is. laugh

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.


Bach - WTC I in C major & C minor (BWV 846-847)
Mozart - Sonata K 282
Chopin - Polonaises Op 26
Schumann - Fantasiestücke Op 12
#500746 - 11/13/08 12:58 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.


Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon
#500747 - 11/13/08 01:13 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.
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.
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.


Bach - WTC I in C major & C minor (BWV 846-847)
Mozart - Sonata K 282
Chopin - Polonaises Op 26
Schumann - Fantasiestücke Op 12
#500748 - 11/13/08 01:25 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Quote
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
He's very idiomatic, and often overwraught.
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"! eek

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! smile

Steven

#500749 - 11/13/08 02:33 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Quote
Originally posted by akonow:
Quote
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
[b] 1. You can't have a very unique style. Unique can't be qualitative. Something's unique or it's not.
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]
[Linked Image]

laugh


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#500750 - 11/13/08 03:30 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Quote
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
He's very idiomatic, and often overwraught. He's very awkward...
He was also somewhat handsome, at least when he was young. smile

Here is a portrait of Schumann from Wikipedia:

[Linked Image]

#500751 - 11/13/08 03:33 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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akonow Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Avantgardenabi:
Quote
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
[b] He's very idiomatic, and often overwraught. He's very awkward...
He was also somewhat handsome. smile
[/b]
Well played, sir. I raise you one Brahms.

<img src="http://i524.photo...s Pictures, Images and Photos"/>


Bach - WTC I in C major & C minor (BWV 846-847)
Mozart - Sonata K 282
Chopin - Polonaises Op 26
Schumann - Fantasiestücke Op 12
#500752 - 11/13/08 08:50 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Quote
Originally posted by currawong:
Quote
Originally posted by argerichfan:
[b] 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?
In my opinion, no, no, no! smile

And then, how much histrionics in 'Nun hast du mir'?

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.


Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.
#500753 - 11/13/08 10:38 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Thanks SV for the heads up on that faux pa... or should I say foe paw?


Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon
#500754 - 11/13/08 11:17 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Quote
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
Thanks SV for the heads up on that faux pa... or should I say foe paw?
You can say "foe paw" ... as long as you write faux pas! (It's the same form whether singular or plural.) smile

Steven

#500755 - 11/13/08 01:03 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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?
There are some nice piano solo transcriptions of this cycle.

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