About Robert Schumann's Sonatas
Schumann's first Sonata has been described as “the strangest and least conventional of Schumann’s sonatas”. Its first edition bears the annotation “Dedicated to Clara by Florestan and Eusebius” and a copy was sent to Clara Wieck in May 1836. But her father forbade acknowledgment of it, and tried to stop any further correspondence between Schumann and his daughter.
The second Sonata was apparently written over a number of years. The final version appeared in 1839, but the second movement was composed as early as 1830. The original finale, published posthumously in 1866, was abandoned because Clara found it far too difficult, and expressed worries that the public wouldn't understand its complexities.
The "Dritte grosse Sonate", Opus 14, also described as "Concert sans orchestre", was completed in June 1836, a difficult year for Schumann, now separated from Clara. It was first published with only three of its original five movements, and revised in 1853. At the heart of the work in both versions is the Quasi variazioni-movement, a set of variations on a theme by Clara. Johannes Brahms made the first performance of this sonata, six years after Schumann's death.