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Robert Schumann
 
 

Robert Schumann, lithograph by Josef Kriehuber, in 1839
 
 
Robert Schumann, in full Robert Alexander Schumann (born June 8, 1810, Zwickau, Saxony [now in Germany]—died July 29, 1856, Endenich, near Bonn, Prussia [Germany]), German Romantic composer renowned particularly for his piano music, songs (lieder), and orchestral music. Many of his best-known piano pieces were written for his wife, the pianist Clara Schumann.

The early years
Schumann’s father was a bookseller and publisher. After four years at a private school, the boy entered the Zwickau Gymnasium (high school) in 1820 and remained there for eight years. He began his musical education at the age of six, studying the piano. In 1827 he came under the musical influence of the Austrian composer Franz Schubert and the literary influence of the German poet Jean Paul Richter, and in the same year he composed some songs.

In 1828 Schumann left school and, under family pressure, reluctantly entered the University of Leipzig as a law student. But at Leipzig his time was devoted not to the law but to song composition, improvisation at the piano, and attempts to write novels. For a few months he studied the piano seriously with a celebrated teacher, Friedrich Wieck, and thus got to know Wieck’s nine-year-old daughter Clara, a brilliant pianist who was just then beginning a successful concert career.



A youthful Robert Schumann

 

In the summer of 1829 he left Leipzig for Heidelberg. There he composed waltzes in the style of Franz Schubert, afterward used in his piano cycle Papillons (Opus 2; 1829–31), and practiced industriously with a view to abandoning law and becoming a virtuoso pianist—with the result that his mother agreed to allow him to return to Leipzig in October 1830 to study for a trial period with Wieck, who thought highly of his talent but doubted his stability and capacity for hard work.

Schumann’s Opus 1, the Abegg Variations for piano, was published in 1831. An accident to one of the fingers of his right hand, which put an end to his hopes of a career as a virtuoso, was perhaps not an unmitigated misfortune, since it confined him to composition. For Schumann, this was a period of prolific composition in piano pieces, which were published either at once or, in revised forms, later. Among them were the piano cycles Papillons and Carnaval (composed 1833–35) and the Études symphoniques (1834–37; Symphonic Studies), another work consisting of a set of variations. In 1834 Schumann had become engaged to Ernestine von Fricken, but long before the engagement was formally broken off (Jan. 1, 1836) he had fallen in love with the then 16-year-old Clara Wieck. Clara returned his kisses but obeyed her father when he ordered her to break off the relationship. Schumann found himself abandoned for 16 months, during which he wrote the great Fantasy in C Major for piano and edited the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a periodical that he had helped to found in 1834 and of which he had been editor since early 1835. In 1837 Schumann formally asked Clara’s father for permission to marry her, but Wieck evaded his request. The couple were finally married in 1840 after Schumann had gone to court to set aside Wieck’s legal objection to the marriage.



Clara Wieck in 1838


 

The mature years
Schumann had by now entered upon one of his most fertile creative periods, producing a series of imaginative works for piano. Among these are the Davidsbündlertänze (composed 1837), Phantasiestücke (1837), Kinderszenen (1838; Scenes from Childhood), Kreisleriana (1838), Arabeske (1838), Humoreske (1838), Novelletten (1838), and Faschingsschwank aus Wien (1839–40; Carnival Jest from Vienna). Schumann wrote most of Faschingsschwank while on a visit to Vienna, during which he unearthed a number of manuscripts by Franz Schubert, including that of the Symphony in C Major (The Great). In 1840 Schumann returned to a field he had neglected for nearly 12 years, that of the solo song; in the space of 11 months (February–December 1840) he composed nearly all the songs on which much of his reputation rests: the cycles Myrthen (Myrtles), the two Liederkreise (Song-Cycles) on texts by Heinrich Heine and Joseph Eichendorff, Dichterliebe (Poet’s Love) and Frauenliebe und Leben (Woman’s Love and Life), and many separate songs.



Profiles of Clara and Robert Schumann

 

Clara had been pressing him to widen his scope, to launch out in other media—above all, the orchestra. Now in January–February 1841 he composed the Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major, which was immediately performed under the composer Felix Mendelssohn at Leipzig; an Overture, Scherzo, and Finale (April–May); a Phantasie for piano and orchestra (May), which was expanded into the famous Piano Concerto in A Minor by the addition of two more movements in 1845; another symphony, in D minor (June–September); and sketches for an uncompleted third symphony, in C minor. After this the orchestral impulse was temporarily spent.

In another new departure, Schumann in 1842 wrote several chamber works, the finest being the Piano Quintet in E-flat Major. The year 1843 was marked by Schumann’s most ambitious work so far, a “secular oratorio,” Das Paradies und die Peri (Paradise and the Peri). He made his debut as a conductor—a role in which he was invariably ineffective—with its first performance in December of that year.



Robert Schumann in an 1850 daguerreotype

 

During Schumann’s work on The Peri, the newly founded Leipzig Conservatory had been opened with Mendelssohn as director and Schumann as professor of “piano playing, composition, and playing from score”; again he had embarked on activities for which he was unsuited. The first few months of 1844 were spent on a concert tour of Russia with Clara, which depressed Schumann by making him conscious of his inferior role. On returning to Leipzig he resigned the editorship of the Neue Zeitschrift. In the autumn of 1844 his work was interrupted by a serious nervous collapse. From late 1844 to 1850 he and Clara lived in Dresden, where his health was gradually restored. In 1845 he began another symphony, No. 2 in C Major, but because of aural nerve trouble nearly 10 months passed before the score was finished. Schumann wrote the incidental music to Lord Byron’s drama Manfred in 1848–49.

Schumann’s attempts to obtain posts in Leipzig and Vienna had also been abortive, and in the end he accepted the post of municipal director of music at Düsseldorf. At first things went tolerably well; in 1850–51 he composed the Cello Concerto in A Minor and the Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major (the Rhenish) and drastically rewrote the 10-year-old Symphony in D Minor, ultimately published as No. 4. He also conducted eight subscription concerts, but his shortcomings as a conductor became obvious, and in 1853 he lost his post as music director at Düsseldorf.



Robert Schumann and Clara Schumann at the piano

 

Schumann’s nervous constitution had never been strong. He had contemplated suicide on at least three occasions in the 1830s, and from the mid-1840s on he suffered periodic attacks of severe depression and nervous exhaustion. His musical powers had also declined by the late 1840s, though some of his works still display flashes of his former genius. By 1852 a general deterioration of his nervous system was becoming apparent. On Feb. 10, 1854, Schumann complained of a “very strong and painful” attack of the ear malady that had troubled him before; this was followed by aural hallucinations. On February 26 he asked to be taken to a lunatic asylum, and the next day he attempted suicide by drowning. On March 4 he was removed to a private asylum at Endenich, near Bonn, where he lived for nearly two and a half years, able to correspond for a time with Clara and his friends. He died there in 1856.




Robert Schumann and Clara Schumann

 

Assessment
As a composer Schumann was first and most naturally a miniaturist. Until after his marriage the great bulk of his work—including that by which he is best known—consisted of short piano pieces and songs, two genres so closely related in his case as to be hardly more than two facets of the same. The song accompaniments are often almost self-sufficient piano pieces, and the piano pieces often seem to have been melodically inspired by lyrical poems. Even when the musical idea did not originate in literature but as a waltz, polonaise, or some other striking harmonic progression found at the piano by his improvising fingers, it was usually given a quasi-literary title or brought into relationship with some literary idea.

Much of Schumann’s most characteristic work is introverted and tends to record precise moments and their moods. But another side of his complex personality is evident in the forthright approach and strongly rhythmic patterns of such works as the Toccata (1829–32) and the Piano Quintet. These two aspects are reflected in the two self-projections—the heroically aspiring Florestan and the dreamily introspective Eusebius—into which Schumann analyzed his own character and which he drew upon in an autobiographical novel, his critical writings, and much of his music.
 


Robert Schumann



Schumann’s early music—and much of the later—is full of enigmas, musical quotations (usually in subtle disguises), and veiled allusions. In the field of the piano miniature and the pianistic song, he is a supreme master; in the simpler kind of lyrical inspiration and in the invention of musical aphorisms, he has seldom been surpassed. When Schumann embarked on more ambitious composition under Clara’s influence, his success was less assured. He was uncertain in writing for the orchestra and relied too often on safe routine procedures; his string writing was pianistic; and his most characteristic musical ideas, which he had hitherto been content to fit together in mosaics or remold plastically by variation, were seldom suited for development on a large scale. Nor in sustained musical thought did he find a satisfaction comparable with the smaller creations of his private dreamworld. Given such innate limitations, it is astonishing that Schumann was able to construct a symphony as firmly welded as the No. 4 in D Minor or a first movement as organic as that of the Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, and that he could conceive orchestral music of such gloomy power as the Manfred overture or the penultimate movement of the Symphony No. 3. Some of his large-scale works, such as the Piano Concerto and the Piano Quintet, depend overmuch on the piano for their salvation, but the piano certainly saved them. Schumann did manage to create large musical forms that could communicate his own special brand of intimate poetry and unforced nobility.

It was long customary to detect in the works of Schumann’s last years evidence of his approaching collapse. But he had been mentally unstable all his life, haunted by fears of insanity since the age of 18, and the change of style noticeable in the music of the early 1850s—the increasing angularity of his themes and complication of his harmony—may be attributed to other causes, including the influence of J.S. Bach. Schumann was rightly considered an advanced composer in his day, and he stands in the front rank of German Romantic musical figures. Even his critical writing, which is as fantastic, subjective, and lyrical as his early music, constitutes a valuable document of the trend and period.

Gerald E.H. Abraham

Encyclopædia Britannica
 
 
 

Grave of Robert and Clara Schumann at Bonn
 
 
 
The Best of Schumann
 
Tracklist:
Peças de Fantasia, Op. 12
1. À Noitinha
2. Vôo
3. Por Quê?
4. Caprichos
5. De Noite
6. Fábula
7. Sonhos Turbulentos
8. Fim do Canto
9. Arabesque em Dó Maior, Op. 18

Cenas Infantis, Op. 15
10. De Povos e Terras Distantes
11. História Curiosa
12. Cabra-Cega
13. Criança Suplicante
14. Felicidade Perfeita
15. Grande Acontecimento
16. Devaneios
17. À Lareira
18. Cavaleiro do Cavalo-de-Pau
19. Quase Sério Demais
20. Meter Medo
21. Criança Dormindo
22. Fala o Poeta

Cenas da Floresta, Op. 82
23. Entrada
24. Flores Solitárias
25. Pássaro Profeta
26. Despedida

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schumann - Album for the young
 
Robert Schumann - Joseph Nagy, piano
Album for the young Op. 68
Album für die Jugend Op. 68

Tracklist:
01 Melody
02 Soldiers' March 1:04
03 Humming Song 2:08
04 Chorale 3:00
05 A little piece 4:11
06 The poor orphan 5:01
07 Hunting song 6:35
08 The wild rider 7:39
09 Folk song 8:13
10 The happy farmer, returning from work 9:41
11 Sicilienne 10:26
12 Knecht Ruprecht 12:07
13 May, sweet may 14:31
14 Little etude 16:17
15 Spring song 18:43
16 First sorrow 20:33
17 The little morning wanderer 22:08
18 The reaper's song 23:20
19 Little romance 24:33
20 Rustic song 25:35
21 Untitled 27:13
22 Roundelay 29:06
23 The Horseman 30:49
24 Harvest song 32:08
25 Echoes from the theatre 33:25
26 Untitled 35:06
27 A little canon 37:09
28 Remembrance 38:51
29 The stranger 40:51
30 Untitled 43:30
31 Song of war 46:22
32 Sheherazade 47:33
33 Gathering of the grapes, happy time 50:49
34 Theme 52:25
35 Mignon 54:33
36 Italian mariners' song 58:05
37 Sailors' song 59:20
38 Wintertime I 1:01:26
39 Wintertime II 1:03:32
40 Little fugue 1:07:23
41 Northern song 1:09:37
42 Figured chorale 1:11:20
43 New Year's Eve 1:12:40

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schumann - Piano sonata n°1 op.11 - Gilels London 1959
 
Piano sonata n°1 op.11

I. Introduzione. Un poco adagio - Allegro vivace 0:00
II. Aria 9:46
III. Scherzo e Intermezzo. Allegrissimo 12:55
IV. Finale. Allegro un poco maestoso - Presto - Più allegro 17:06

Emil Gilels
Live recording, London, 27.II.1959

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Symphony No. 1 - 1841
 
 
The Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 38, also known as the Spring Symphony, is the first symphonic work composed by Robert Schumann. Although he had made some "symphonic attempts" in the autumn of 1840 soon after he married Clara Wieck, he did not compose his First Symphony until early 1841. Schumann sketched the symphony in four days from 23 to 26 January and completed the orchestration by 20 February. The premiere took place under the baton of Felix Mendelssohn on 31 March 1841 in Leipzig, where the symphony was warmly received. Until this symphony, Schumann was largely known for his works for the piano and for voice. Clara encouraged him to write symphonic music. The title of "Spring Symphony" was bestowed upon it, according to Clara's diary, because of the Spring poems of Adolph Boettger. However, Schumann himself said he was merely inspired by his Liebesfrühling (spring of love). The last movement of the symphony also uses the final theme of Kreisleriana, and therefore recalls the romantic and fantastic inspiration of this piano composition.

The symphony has four movements:

1. Andante un poco maestoso – Allegro molto vivace (B flat major)
2. Larghetto (E flat major)
3. Scherzo: Molto vivace – Trio I: Molto piu vivace – Trio II (G minor)
4. Allegro animato e grazioso (B flat major)

The orchestration is for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns (2 in F, E-flat, and D, 2 in B-flat), 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, triangle and strings. Schumann especially expanded the use of timpani in this revolutionary piece. Schumann made some revisions until the definitive full-score of the symphony was published in 1853. The playing time of the symphony is about 29–31 minutes, depending upon the interpretation.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
Schumann - Symphony n°1 - Cleveland / Szell
 
Symphony n°1 op.38

I. Andante un poco maestoso - Allegro molto vivace 0:00
II. Larghetto 9:51
III. Scherzo. Molto vivace 15:46
IV. Allegro animato e grazioso 21:21

The Cleveland Orchestra
George Szell
Studio recording, Cleveland (24-25.X.1958)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schumann - Symphony n°2 - Cleveland / Szell 1958
 
Symphony n°2 op.61

I. Sostenuto assai - Allegro ma non troppo 0:00
II. Scherzo. Allegro vivace 10:42
III. Adagio espressivo 17:20
IV. Allegro molto vivace 28:27

The Cleveland Orchestra
George Szell
Studio recording, Cleveland (24.X.1958)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schumann - Symphony n°2 - Leonard Bernstein
 
Symphony n°2 in C major opus 61

I. Sostenuto assai (00:00) - Allegro ma non troppo (03:41)
II. Scherzo. Allegro vivace (12:26)
III. Adagio espressivo (19:20)
IV. Allegro molto vivace (32:46)

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks), dir Leonard Bernstein
(live recording 1983)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Celibidache Schumann - Symphonien Nr. 3 & 4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann - Symphonic Etudes Op. 13
 
Composer: Robert Schumann (8 June 1810 -- 29 July 1856)
- Performer: Sviatoslav Richter
- Year of recording: 1971

Symphonic Etudes ("Etudes in the form of variations") for piano [version 2], Op. 13, written between 1834-1836.

00:00 - Theme - Andante
01:36 - Etude I (Variation 1) - Un poco più vivo
02:41 - Etude II (Variation 2) - Andante
05:18 - Etude III - Vivace
06:28 - Etude IV (Variation 3) - Allegro marcato
07:29 - Etude V (Variation 4) - Scherzando
08:34 - Posthumous variation I - Andante, Tempo del tema
10:11 - Posthumous variation II - Meno Mosso
12:19 - Posthumous variation III - Allegro
13:50 - Posthumous variation IV - Allegretto
16:33 - Posthumous variation V - Moderato
19:12 - Etude VI (Variation 5) - Agitato
20:06 - Etude VII (Variation 6) - Allegro molto
21:16 - Etude VIII (Variation 7) - Sempre marcatissimo
23:44 - Etude IX - Presto possibile
24:33 - Etude X (Variation 8) - Allegro con energia
25:43 - Etude XI (Variation 9) - Andante espressivo
28:04 - Etude XII (Finale) - Allegro brillante

Schumann's contributions to the literature of the piano etude, a genre just beginning to blossom in the middle nineteenth century at the hands of Chopin and Liszt, came in three isolated, extremely productive bursts, after which he abandoned the genre forever. (It is perhaps no coincidence that Schumann was also forced to abandon hopes for a performing career after permanently crippling the fourth finger of his right hand during the early 1830s.) Schumann's earliest such effort, the Studies on Caprices of Paganini Op. 3 (1832), is at best little more than a preliminary essay toward the later, altogether more successful Concert Etudes on Caprices of Paganini, Op. 10 (1833). Even this second set of Paganini-inspired works, however, cannot compare with Liszt's parallel achievement, the Grandes études de Paganini (1851). But with the 12 Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 (1834, rev. 1852), Schumann achieved a remarkable level of expressivity and technical achievement that has made the work a perennial if digitally formidable recital favorite.

The 12 etudes of Op. 13 originally numbered 18; however, Schumann found the set so exhausting for the pianist that he removed five of the etudes prior to publication, both lessening the work's demands and streamlining its architecture. Johannes Brahms selected five of the additional six etudes for publication during the 1890s, and these 'posthumous variations' have since joined the original 12 in many performances and recordings, like this recording by Richter.

Schumann also referred to the Symphonic Etudes as "Etudes en forme de variations" (Etudes in the form of variations), and it is largely to this enhanced degree of musical connectivity that the work owes its success. The theme upon which most of the variations are based was composed by Baron von Fricken, an amateur musician and father of Ernestine von Fricken, Schumann's onetime fiancée. The third and ninth etudes bear a much weaker relationship to the theme than do their companions, while the finale is based upon different material altogether.

The theme, in C sharp minor, is infused by an atmosphere of tragedy, effectively built up into a kind of sepulchral march in the first etude-variation. The second etude is in rolling nocturne style, while the third, marked Vivace, draws upon energetic staccato textures. The fourth is a canon at the octave that uses the first measure of the Baron's theme but soon digresses. The fifth etude is also cleverly imitative, built on impish dotted rhythms (and, for a change, finishing in E major rather than in C sharp minor), while the sixth etude is a study in syncopation. The seventh etude, which like the fifth moves to E major at the end, is quick-witted and repetitive, finishing with a crescendo and a flurry of finger work. The eighth etude employs a thinner texture but is filled with intricate ornamentation. The ninth etude, a scherzo of sorts marked Presto possibile (as fast as possible), is one of the most challenging of the set; the theme is present only in the vaguest outline. The tenth etude is articulate and humorous, the eleventh the only one cast in a key other than C sharp minor; its grim key of G sharp minor and foreboding left-hand texture take the listener into the despairing depths of Schumann's craft. Etude No. 12, the finale, is cast in the altogether brighter key of D flat major, and employs a theme from an opera by Heinrich Marschner as its basic material; its joyful dotted rhythms and Allegro brillante atmosphere make for an appropriately exciting conclusion.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schumann - Etudes symphoniques - Richter studio
 
Etudes symphoniques op.13

Sviatoslav Richter
Studio recording, Salzburg, 1-3, 6, 7,14,15 & 24.IX.1971

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann - Violin Concerto
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann - Kreisleriana opus 16 - Vladimir Horowitz
 
Kreisleriana opus 16

Vladimir Horowitz
(1969)

1. Äußerst bewegt 00:00

2. Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch 2:34

3. Sehr aufgeregt 9:36

4. Sehr langsam 13:12

5. Sehr lebhaft 16:31

6. Sehr langsam 19:52

7. Sehr rasch 23:47

8. Schnell und spielend 26:02

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Evgeny Kissin - Schumann Fantasy Op.17
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schumann - Toccata in C, Op. 7
 
Youri Egorov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann - Allegro, Op 8
 
Allegro Op. 8 (1831, publ. 1835)
dedicated to Baronin Ernestine von Fricken

Alicia de Larrocha, piano

Editor:
Clara Schumann (1819--1896)

Publisher Info.:
Robert Schumanns Werke, Serie VII: Für Pianoforte zu zwei Händen
Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1887. Plate R.S. 46.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann - Faschingsschwank aus Wien
 
Performer: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
- Year of recording: 1957 (live in Royal Festival Hall, London, UK)

Faschingsschwank aus Wien ("Phantasiebilder") {Carnival Scenes from Vienna}, for piano, Op. 26, written in 1839.

00:00 - I. Allegro (Sehr Lebhaft), B-flat major
09:47 - II. Romanze (Ziemlich Langsam), g minor
12:34 - III. Scherzino, B-flat major
14:47 - IV. Intermezzo (Mit Größter Energie), e-flat minor
16:56 - V. Finale (Höchst Lebhaft), B-flat major

Schumann's "Faschingschwank aus Wien" is a rather unusual work in five movements; it is more integrated than a suite, but not quite a sonata. He wrote the first four movements in Vienna, and the last on his return to Leipzig.

Eric Sams has noted that the word "Faschingschwank" contains the letters ASCH SCHA in that order of appearance, and that Schumann used these notes in sequence as melodic material for this work. Robert Morgan has noted Schumann's use of Ludwig van Beethoven's Op. 26 as a model in this work, and also Schumann's use of musical symmetry. David Neumeyer has noted the similarity of the first section to the Valse Noble, Op. 77, No. 7 (D. 969) of Franz Schubert.

- The first movement is the longest and one of the more virtuosic, this piece is notable for its innovative rhythms and its brief quote of "La Marseillaise." Of all the pieces of Faschingsschwank, this one is the least single-minded in its structure, introducing entirely new themes occasionally, only to be brought back repeatedly to two repeated motifs from the beginning. The piece comes to a crashing close with almost dissonant seven-on-three arpeggios.
- The second movement is probably the least virtuosic of the works, taking only a page of music. Despite its shortness and apparent ease, this is undoubtedly the saddest piece in the set. Despite the fact that most of the work is in G minor, the final measure brings a resolution into G major.
- The third movement, much as the title suggests, is a playful respite between two somber movements. A syncopated rhythm, with a melody based almost entirely on notes of the major chord, keeps the movement light and bouncing throughout, with the possible exception of the last run, a progression of octaves into a quick and bright cadence.
- The fourth movement (Intermezzo) is marked by its flowing sound, created by keeping a steady stream of right-hand notes in the background, interspersed with melody notes. The piece, almost entirely based on transpositions, appears difficult at first due to its speed (some musicologists have remarked that Schumann's metronome was calibrated such that it went faster than it should have, due to extreme tempi such as this one). While the background notes in the right hand do indeed move extremely fast, the melody is more singing. The background notes are mostly suited to the shape and position of the hand, despite a few leaps of the melody; in the end, the left hand takes a modified, E-flat major version of the E-flat minor melody, under the right hand. The work is a melancholy and emotionally charged display of a pianist's capability to convey feeling.
- The fifth movement (Finale) begins with triumphant announcements in B-flat octaves, interspersed with brilliant moving thirds. This section is the second longest, lasting about half the length of the first movement. The patterns seen in the Finale are somewhat reminiscent of Beethoven's compositional style, using a melody that moves in both hands, while both hands also play unchanging notes beneath the melody. The energetic runs of the final bars bring the set to a dramatic close.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Schumann - Brigitte Engerer (1983) Carnaval de Vienne op 26
 
0:00 : Allegro (Sehr Lebhaft), B-flat major

The longest and one of the more virtuosic movements, this piece is notable for its innovative rhythms and its brief quote of "La Marseillaise." Of all the pieces of Faschingsschwank, this one is the least single-minded in its structure, introducing entirely new themes occasionally, only to be brought back repeatedly to two repeated motifs from the beginning. The piece comes to a crashing close with almost dissonant seven-on-three arpeggios.

10:02 : Romanze (Ziemlich Langsam), G minor

Probably the least virtuosic of the works, taking only a page of music. Despite its shortness and apparent ease, this is undoubtedly the saddest piece in the set. Despite the fact that most of the work is in G minor, the final measure brings a resolution into G major.

13:25 : Scherzino, B flat major

Much as the title suggests, this work is a playful respite between two somber movements. A syncopated rhythm, with a melody based almost entirely on notes of the major chord, keeps the movement light and bouncing throughout, with the possible exception of the last run, a progression of octaves into a quick and bright cadence.

15:29 : Intermezzo (Mit Größter Energie), E-flat minor

The Intermezzo is marked by its flowing sound, created by keeping a steady stream of right-hand notes in the background, interspersed with melody notes. The piece, almost entirely based on transpositions, appears difficult at first due to its speed (some musicologists have remarked that Schumann's metronome was calibrated such that it went faster than it should have, due to extreme tempi such as this one). While the background notes in the right hand do indeed move extremely fast, the melody is more singing. The background notes are mostly suited to the shape and position of the hand, despite a few leaps of the melody; in the end, the left hand takes a modified, E-flat major version of the E-flat minor melody, under the right hand. The work is a melancholy and emotionally charged display of a pianist's capability of conveying feeling.

17:46 : Finale (Höchst Lebhaft), B-flat major

The Finale begins with triumphant announcements in B-flat octaves, interspersed with brilliant moving thirds. This section is the second longest, lasting about half the length of the first movement. The patterns seen in the Finale are somewhat reminiscent of Beethoven's compositional style, using a melody that moves in both hands, while both hands also play unchanging notes beneath the melody. The energetic runs of the final bars bring the set to a dramatic close.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Evgeny Kissin - Schumann Carnaval Op.9
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sviatoslav Richter, Nina Dorliak - Schumann Dichterliebe Op.48
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann - Lieder
 
Peter Schreier ( tenor )
Norman Schtler ( piano )

DICHTERLIEBE OP. 48
1 Im wunderschonen monat mai 00:00
2 Aus meinen traenen spriessen 01:43
3 Die rose, die lilie, die taube 02:46
4 Wenn ich deine augen seh' 03:18
5 Ich will meine seele tauchen 04:58
6 Im rhein, Im heiligen strome 05:51
7 Ich grolle nicht 08:15
8 Und wuessten's die blumen, die kleinen 10:03
9 Das ist ein floeten und geigen 11:15
10 Hoer' ich das liedchen klingen 12:45
11 Ein juengling liebt ein maedchen 14:55
12 Am leuchtenden sommermorgen 15:55
13 Ich hab' im traum geweinet 18:38
14 Allnaechtlich im traume 21:27
15 Aus alten maerchen 23:13
16 Die alten, Boesen lieder 26:08

LIEDERKREIS OP.39
17 Morgens steh'ich auf und frage 31:37
18 Es treibt mich hin 32:41
19 Ich Wandelte unter den baeumen 33:56
20 Lieb'lienchen, ligs haendchen 37:28
21 Schoene wiege meiner leiden 38:20
22 Warte, warte, wilder schiffmann 42:17
23 Berg' und burgen schaun herunter 44:15
24 Anfangs wollte'ich fast verzagen 47:53
25 Mit myrten und rosen 49:06

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann: 10 Songs
 
Olga Zinovieva (soprano), Sergey Smirnov (piano)
16/10/2010; Alblasconcerten, Steeckershil, Bleskensgraaf, The Netherlands
R. Schumann (1810-1856)
1. Es treibt mich hin /Heine/ Op.24 No2
2. Ich wandelte unter den Bäumen /Heine/ Op.24 No3
3. Widmung /Rückert/ Op.25 No1
4. Der Nuβbaum /Mosen/ Op.25 No3
5. Sehnsucht /Geibel/ Op.51. No1
6. Liebeslied /Goethe/ Op.51 No5
7. Aufträge /L'Égru.) Op.77 No5
8. Er ist's /Mörike/ Op.79 No24
9. Schneeglöckhen /Rückert/ Op.79 No27
10. Mein schöner Stern! /Rückert/ Op.101 No4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann: Lieder der Mignon
 
International Robert Schumann Competition Zwickau 1996

2nd prize: Maria Riccarda Wesseling (-Schmid)
Piano: Roger Braun

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kiri Te Kanawa: Stille Tranen by Schumann
 
Stille Tränen, op. 35 no. 10 (in Zwölf Gedichte von Justinus Kerner) /Larmes silencieuses / Silent tears

Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano.
Richard Amner, piano.
1979
_
Du bist vom Schlaf erstanden
Und wandelst durch die Au.
Da liegt ob allen Landen
Der Himmel wunderblau.

So lang du ohne Sorgen
Geschlummert schmerzenlos,
Der Himmel bis zum Morgen
Viel Tränen niedergoß.

In stillen Nächten weinet
Oft mancher aus dem Schmerz,
Und morgens dann ihr meinet,
Stets fröhlich sei sein Herz.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kiri Te Kanawa: Du bist wie eine Blume by Schumann
 
"Du bist wie eine Blume", Op. 25/24 , cycle "Myrten" (Heinrich Heine, 1797-1856)

Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano.
Richard Amner, piano.
1979

"Du bist wie eine Blume
so hold und schön und rein;
ich schau' dich an, und Wehmut
schleicht mir ins Herz hinein.

Mir ist, als ob ich die Hände
aufs Haupt dir legen sollt',
betend, daß Gott dich erhalte
so rein und schön und hold.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann - Dichterliebe, Op. 48 Pt 1-4 Fischer-Dieskau Salzburg 1956
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jonas Kaufmann - Dichterliebe (R. Schumann )
 
JONAS KAUFMANN RECITAL
Quebec City Feb. 3,2013

Robert Schumann, Heinrich Heine
Dichterliebe OP 48

Jonas Kaufmann,Tenor
Carrie-Ann Matheson,Pian

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Paradise and the Peri - 1843
 
 
Paradise and the Peri, in German Das Paradies und die Peri, is an oratorio for soloists, chorus, and orchestra by Schumann Robert . Completed in 1843, the work was published as Schumann's Op. 50.

The work is based on a German translation (by Schumann and his friend Emil Flechsig) of a tale from Lalla-Rookh by Thomas Moore. The peri, a creature from Persian mythology, is the focus of the story, having been expelled from Paradise and trying to regain entrance by giving the gift that is most dear to heaven. Eventually the peri is admitted after bringing a tear from the cheek of a repentant old sinner who has seen a child praying.

Peter Ostwald in his biography Schumann: The Inner Voices of a Musical Genius records that Schumann "confided to a friend that 'while writing Paradise and the Peri a voice occasionally whispered to me "what you are doing is not done completely in vain," and that even Richard Wagner praised this work. The cantata is generally held to be a significant achievement by Schumann, and it perhaps appeals less than it might otherwise to modern audiences due to the flowery, Eastern-inspired verbiage of the libretto, which represents a vogue for orientalism that was in full swing in the 19th century but has receded considerably today.

The first English performance took place under difficult conditions at the Hanover Square Rooms in London at the invitation of the Philharmonic Society conducted by William Sterndale Bennett with Jenny Lind taking the leading soprano part.

Paradise and the Peri was the vehicle for Gabrielle Krauss's first important appearance, in Vienna in 1858, when she was not yet 16 years old.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
Das Paradies und die Peri - Robert Schumann
 
9/17/2010, courtesy of Bavarian Radio
angel: Magdalena Kozena
Peri: Sally Matthews
narrator: Topi Lehtipuu
maiden: Kate Royal
young man: Andrew Staples
old man: David Wilson-Johnson

conductor: Simon Rattle
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Manfred" - 1848
 
 

Original title page for Robert Schumann's Manfred, Op.115
 
 
Manfred: Dramatic Poem with Music in Three Parts (Opus 115) [German: Manfred. Dramatisches Gedicht in drei Abtheitungen], is a work of incidental music by Robert Schumann. The work is based on the poem Manfred by Lord Byron and consists of an overture, an entracte, melodramas, and several solos and choruses.

Written primarily in 1848, it was first performed at the Gewandhaus concert at Leipzig on March 14, 1852. The most highly regarded piece in the work is the Manfred Overture. Composer Hugo Wolf wrote that the work "has brought the essence, the focal point of the drama to plastic expression with the simplest strokes." Music historian Peter Ostwald wrote that the Overture was written during a time when Schumann was facing "exquisite suffering" from "inner voices," or auditory hallucinations.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
Schumann - Manfred - Overture Op. 115
 
Overture "Manfred" Op. 115
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler
Live Recording, Berlin, December 18, 1949

From the CD "Wilhelm Furtwangler conducts the Symphonies of Robert Schumann"

The Manfred overture is the earliest recording on this disc, as such it does sound a little dated recording wise, nevertheless the restoration has been quite successful and is quite an improvement over the original.

Audio Restored and Remastered by Rudolf Ondrich, 12-13 October 2012.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Genoveva in the Forest Seclusion by Adrian Ludwig Richter
 
 
Genoveva - 1850
 
 
Genoveva, Op. 81 is an opera in four acts by Robert Schumann in the genre of German Romanticism with a libretto by Robert Reinick and the composer. The only opera Schumann ever wrote, it received its first performance on 25 June 1850 at the Stadttheater in Leipzig, with the composer conducting. It received only three performances during the premiere, and the negative criticism it received in the press played a decisive role in Schumann's decision to not write a second opera.

Genoveva is based on the story of Genevieve of Brabant, a medieval legend set in the 8th century that is reputedly based on the 13th century life of Marie of Brabant, wife of Louis II, Duke of Bavaria. The story gained in popularity during the first half of the 17th century, primarily in Germany through various theatrical settings. Two of the settings from this period, Ludwig Tieck's play Leben und Tod der heiligen Genoveva (Life and Death of Saint Genoveva) and Friedrich Hebbel's play Genoveva, served as the basis for the opera's libretto.

The plot of the opera has several similarities with Wagner's Lohengrin, which was composed during the same period as Schuman was writing Genoveva.

Genoveva has never won a large popular audience, but it continues to be revived at regular intervals throughout the world and has been recorded several times.


Composition history

Schumann expressed the desire to write an opera as early as 1842, and was fascinated by the possibilities of operas based on traditional German legends. His notebooks from this period show that, among others, Schumann considered the stories of the Nibelungen, Lohengrin and Till Eulenspiegel to be good candidates for settings in German opera.

Schumann began work on Genoveva toward the end of a period of intense depression. In the early 1840s, discouraged both by the greater public esteem enjoyed by his wife, Clara Schumann, a leading pianist as well as a composer with a high-profile career as a touring virtuoso, and by the fact that he was not offered the directorship of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Schumann's depression intensified. In 1844, he and Clara moved to Dresden, where his depression eventually moderated and he began work on a number of compositions, including Genoveva.

While in Dresden, Schumann encountered Wagner, whose discouraging comments on Schumann's libretto for Genoveva strained relations between the two composers. For his part, however, Schumann came to admire the dramatic impact of Wagner's operas, and the influence of Wagner's music worked its way into the score for Genoveva. Indeed, some of the musical techniques used in the opera, such as the fluid through-composed music (i.e. there are no recitatives) and lack of purely virtuosic vocal moments, are Schumann's personal interpretations and adaptations of Wagner's compositional methods.

Although the then recently constructed Dresden Semperoper house declined to stage Genoveva, much to Schumann's fury, he eventually secured a staging in Leipzig.

Performance history
The Bielefeld Opera rediscovered Genoveva in 1995 in the first staged production worldwide in over 70 years. Conducted by Geoffrey Moull and directed by Katja Czellnik, the opera was given 8 notable performances. Opera magazine of London wrote that

"it is possible to say from the impression created by Geoffrey Moull´s vigorous conducting that Schumann´s theatre music is more plausible, more tense and more exciting than has so far been conceded.".
The North American premiere, in a concert performance at Emmanuel Church in Boston on April 2, 2005, ended with a standing ovation.

The opera was presented by the Zurich Opera in February 2008, and again by University College Opera in March 2010.


Synopsis
Act 1

The opera begins with Hidulfus, Bishop of Trier, summoning Brabant's Christian knights to join Charles Martel's crusade against a feared Saracen conquest of Europe. Siegfried, Count of Brabante, answers the call. In preparing to leave for war, he entrusts his wife, Genoveva, to his young servant, Golo.

Act 2
Despite Golo's overwhelming desire for her, Genoveva persistently rejects his advances. Infuriated by these rejections, Golo seeks revenge against Genoveva by staging a trap to discredit her. One night, Golo sneaks Drago, an old steward, into Genoveva's bedroom to fake an adulterous affair that is then witnessed by other servants, brought to the scene by Golo. In their rage, the servants kill Drago and Genoveva is imprisoned for adultery.

Act 3
Word of this imagined infidelity gets back to Siegfried, who then commands Golo to put Genoveva to death. Drago's ghost appears in front of Margaretha and tells her that if she does not reveal the truth, she will die.

Act 4
As two armed men are dispatched to kill Genoveva, her life is saved through the intervention of a mute, deaf boy. Siegfried then discovers Golo's treachery and restores his wife's honour.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
 
 
 
 
Schumann "Genoveva" Kurt Masur
 
"Genoveva", Opera in 4 Acts by Robert Schumann

Siegfried Lorenz (Hidulfus)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Pfalzgraf Siegfried)
Edda Moser (Genoveva)
Peter Schreier (Golo)
Gisela Schröter (Margaretha)
Siegfried Vogel (Draga)
Rundfunkchor Berlin
Wolf-Dieter Hauschild, chorusmaster
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
Kurt Masur, conductor
1979

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Robert Schumann - "Genoveva" - Overture
 
Moscow City Symphony "Russian Philharmonic"
Conductor - Dmitri Jurowski
Moscow International House of Music, Svetlanov Hall
December 8, 2011. R. Schumann. Overture "Genoveva"
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
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