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Posted By: didyougethathing Learning to Love Schumann - 06/08/12 05:05 PM
I many have mentioned this before, but I've never gotten into Schumann. I've listened to much of his solo piano output, but a lot of it hasn't grabbed me.

However, I've just had one of those wonderful moments of discovery on YouTube, where a "related" video starts you off on a journey. I was watching a performance of Ravel's Tombeau, and saw a video with piano and oboe, two of my favorite instruments, so I decided to give it a go. And boy am I glad I did.



Absolutely stunning music, incredibly beautiful and vivid. Schumann! I'm so excited now, I feel invigorated to explore some other of his chamber works and works such as this! Just wanted to share this with all of you, hopefully some can appreciate my excitement. The learning never ends; no matter how much you think you've listened to, there's always something else out there!

grin

Posted By: slava_richter Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/08/12 05:43 PM
Check out this album: http://www.amazon.com/Schumann-Work..._3?ie=UTF8&qid=1339177284&sr=8-3

I have it on LP and it is some of my favorite Schumann. You can also check out his Piano Quintet, another chamber masterpiece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iuKARQpzLk

Happy listening! And yes, it's unbelievable how much good stuff you can keep discovering even though we've heard so much already. I expect that when I'm 70 or 80 I'll still be saying the same thing, the shear amount of great music is almost infinite.
Posted By: Orange Soda King Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/08/12 07:18 PM
Schumann's songs are my favorite output by him!!
Posted By: didyougethathing Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/08/12 07:30 PM
Thanks for the suggestions!
Posted By: Gatsbee13 Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/08/12 09:12 PM
i believe today is his 202nd birthday. KUSC (the local classical station out here in so cali) is playing alot of his works.
Posted By: jeffreyjones Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/08/12 10:46 PM
I feel to really appreciate Schumann, you have to either: 1) hear it live, or 2) play it yourself. That's the way that his colors and quirkiness come to life. The best introduction is probably the Fantasiestucke, Op. 12 - it's just as great as Kreisleriana without the foreboding and dread. That and Carnaval, which is well worth the difficulty of playing it.
Posted By: argerichfan Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/09/12 12:28 AM
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Schumann's songs are my favorite output by him!!

I once accompanied a singer in the 'Liederkreis', opus 39. It was an incredible experience, but I really underestimated how difficult those piano parts were, particularly 'Frühlingsnacht'.

The latter was a nasty piece of business.
Posted By: Orange Soda King Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/09/12 01:14 AM
One of my friends just re-introduced me to Waldszenen. I liked it a lot.
Posted By: didyougethathing Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/09/12 03:14 AM
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
I feel to really appreciate Schumann, you have to either: 1) hear it live, or 2) play it yourself. That's the way that his colors and quirkiness come to life. The best introduction is probably the Fantasiestucke, Op. 12 - it's just as great as Kreisleriana without the foreboding and dread. That and Carnaval, which is well worth the difficulty of playing it.


I've listened to those pieces, but I'll pick one I sort of like and play through it now, see if it opens up anything. Thanks!
Posted By: currawong Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/09/12 04:14 AM
Originally Posted by Orange Soda King
Schumann's songs are my favorite output by him!!
Then here's a little treat for you. smile

Posted By: WilliamByrd Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/09/12 11:51 AM
Robert Schumann has for a long time.. Very long time been my favorite composer in the era and will ever be!
Posted By: Chopinlover49 Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/09/12 01:38 PM
Much of Schumann's piano music was written for his own enjoyment. He did not care if it became popular. His larger orchestral works were written with an audience in mind. Much of his vocal music was intended to please his wife, Clara. I think one becomes more open to Schumann's piano music as one matures and especially as one's playing improves. He is a wonderful composer but some of his piano music takes more than just technique, it requires a sense of understanding the emotion hidden within. Just my opinion, but I think Schumann is under-appreciated because other composers are a little easier to approach in the beginning of one's awareness of classical music.
Posted By: musica71 Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/10/12 04:03 AM
I think I was born LOVING Schumann!
Posted By: currawong Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/10/12 04:14 AM
Originally Posted by musica71
I think I was born LOVING Schumann!
Me too. Well, at least from the time that I knew Widmung was sung at my parents' wedding.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/11/12 03:30 PM
I played the Schumann/Liszt Widmung long before I knew the words and what the original song was about (or what 'Widmung' actually meant grin). When I eventually found a translation, I was gratified to see that it meant what I thought it meant (if you get my drift). It's all in the music: Schumann never beats about the bush, or hides beneath technical twaddle, or engages in ambiguity; he says what he means, and means what he says, always.

BTW, his Fantaisie in C is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written for piano solo. And it's not difficult to play either - easier than Kreisleriana, Carnaval, Fantasiestücke etc.
Posted By: apple* Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/11/12 03:33 PM
His music can be absolutely gorgeous, his rhythms are fascinating and accessible even tho they sound like they are not. i really love him. he's definitely my 3rd favorite.
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/11/12 03:34 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
BTW, his Fantaisie in C is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written for piano solo. And it's not difficult to play either ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY
Posted By: Orange Soda King Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/11/12 03:42 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by bennevis
BTW, his Fantaisie in C is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written for piano solo. And it's not difficult to play either ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY


+1

That sucker is crazy hard!
Posted By: argerichfan Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/11/12 03:47 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
And it's not difficult to play either - easier than Kreisleriana, Carnaval, Fantasiestücke etc.

When I read this I first thought it was April Fools Day, but that got eliminated, then I thought perhaps I hadn't had enough coffee, but I've had 3 cups so far, so I'll just settle for the fact that I'm merely hallucinating.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/11/12 04:02 PM
Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by bennevis
And it's not difficult to play either - easier than Kreisleriana, Carnaval, Fantasiestücke etc.

When I read this I first thought it was April Fools Day, but that got eliminated, then I thought perhaps I hadn't had enough coffee, but I've had 3 cups so far, so I'll just settle for the fact that I'm merely hallucinating.


No hallucination, and it's June (according to my body clock - haven't got time to check with my atomic clock) grin.

I've played all of the C major Fantaisie and Kreisleriana and Carnaval, and a few movements of the Op.12. The Fantaisie is the most straightforward technically for my hands, apart from the treacherous coda to the March.
Posted By: Richter Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/11/12 04:45 PM
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by bennevis
BTW, his Fantaisie in C is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written for piano solo. And it's not difficult to play either ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekQ_Ja02gTY


Hahahahaha!
Posted By: pianoloverus Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/11/12 07:25 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by argerichfan
Originally Posted by bennevis
And it's not difficult to play either - easier than Kreisleriana, Carnaval, Fantasiestücke etc.

When I read this I first thought it was April Fools Day, but that got eliminated, then I thought perhaps I hadn't had enough coffee, but I've had 3 cups so far, so I'll just settle for the fact that I'm merely hallucinating.


No hallucination, and it's June (according to my body clock - haven't got time to check with my atomic clock) grin.

I've played all of the C major Fantaisie and Kreisleriana and Carnaval, and a few movements of the Op.12. The Fantaisie is the most straightforward technically for my hands, apart from the treacherous coda to the March.
None of that means "it's not difficult to play" which seems either silly or pretentious.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/12/12 11:16 AM
I don't do pretension or silliness, as you should know - I just say what I think, based on personal experience.

Try playing the Fantaisie for yourself and you'll see that it's actually a lot easier technically than most other Schumann works. Don't let the notes on the pages put you off grin.

With hindsight, maybe I should have inserted the word 'that' in between 'not' and 'difficult'.....
Posted By: jeffreyjones Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/12/12 04:44 PM
Originally Posted by bennevis
I don't do pretension or silliness, as you should know - I just say what I think, based on personal experience.

Try playing the Fantaisie for yourself and you'll see that it's actually a lot easier technically than most other Schumann works. Don't let the notes on the pages put you off grin.

With hindsight, maybe I should have inserted the word 'that' in between 'not' and 'difficult'.....


The technical difficulties are not that severe other than the end of the March, but the musical questions will haunt you forever.
Posted By: bennevis Re: Learning to Love Schumann - 06/12/12 05:29 PM
Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Originally Posted by bennevis
I don't do pretension or silliness, as you should know - I just say what I think, based on personal experience.

Try playing the Fantaisie for yourself and you'll see that it's actually a lot easier technically than most other Schumann works. Don't let the notes on the pages put you off grin.

With hindsight, maybe I should have inserted the word 'that' in between 'not' and 'difficult'.....


The technical difficulties are not that severe other than the end of the March, but the musical questions will haunt you forever.


Very true - it's difficult to convey the right wistfulness without sentimentality. And should one make a cresc all the way to the final chords in the finale (like Pollini and others), or do a diminuendo instead?

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