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#500756 - 11/13/08 01:31 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Fleeting Visions Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by sotto voce:
Quote
Originally posted by Fleeting Visions:
[b] 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 [/b]
f f f f f f I just keep synching lower... wink It's Paine full.


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#500757 - 11/14/08 04:35 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Robert Kenessy Offline
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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.


Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.
#500758 - 11/14/08 07:43 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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I enjoy the Toccata Op. 7 and the Piano Concerto.


"Silence is music too"
#500759 - 11/14/08 10:43 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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, 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.


Jason
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#500760 - 11/14/08 12:16 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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sotto voce Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
I guess I'm a thread spoiler but I think Schumann is overrated....
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

#500761 - 11/14/08 12:33 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.

#500762 - 11/14/08 01:46 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.

#500763 - 11/14/08 03:09 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.

#500764 - 11/14/08 03:11 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.


Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon
#500765 - 11/14/08 03:13 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Iain Offline
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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.
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?

#500766 - 11/14/08 03:19 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Iain Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by sotto voce:
Quote
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
[b] I guess I'm a thread spoiler but I think Schumann is overrated....
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.

#500767 - 11/14/08 03:20 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.
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? wink ), so you know he scores way higher than Top 10 with me!

Steven

#500768 - 11/14/08 03:41 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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. wink


Jason
#500769 - 11/14/08 03:54 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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?
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.

#500770 - 11/19/08 01:45 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Hi,

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

Thanks.

Bossie

#500771 - 11/19/08 08:06 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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

#500772 - 11/19/08 08:29 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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sotto voce Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by bossie:
Do you know which pieces are the easier pieces to play other than Traumerei and Album for the young?
I recommend Waldscenen ("Forest Scenes") Op. 82.

Steven

#500773 - 11/19/08 08:42 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.


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I went on without it.' --Jonathan Winters

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#500774 - 11/19/08 09:01 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Thanks. Let me try in these few days .. smile

#500775 - 11/19/08 10:02 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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Quote
Originally posted by sotto voce:
Quote
Originally posted by bossie:
[b]Do you know which pieces are the easier pieces to play other than Traumerei and Album for the young?
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 ( wink 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

#500776 - 11/19/08 10:19 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.

#500777 - 11/19/08 07:31 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.

#500778 - 11/19/08 07:41 PM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.
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

#500779 - 11/20/08 03:49 AM Re: Robert Schumann and his works. :)  
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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.
This applies to me, too. I do not listen to Schubert's pieces very often... frown

But I still love his Moment Musical No. 3. It is just stunning. smile

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