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Topic: What about Schumann?  (Read 3642 times)

Offline bernhard

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What about Schumann?
on: January 31, 2004, 09:53:53 PM
What about Schumann?

I think highly of Schumann. No one wrote miniatures as he did. He also revolutionised form. I wonder what his contemporaries thought when he came up with something like “Papillons” (only his Op. 2), when everyone else was composing sonatas, waltzes, etudes, preludes and the like. Yet he hardly ever gets mentioned in the forum. So what is your opinion of Schumann?

Best wishes,
Bernhard.
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline allchopin

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #1 on: January 31, 2004, 10:45:50 PM
There really is a lot to be said of him- however, his mention doesn't seem to bring as much excitement as does Liszt's or Chopin's.  His microcosmic works are indeed the best melodies packed into the shortst amounts of time.  He came up with outstanding melodies that are taken for granted (by not being popular, i suppose).  But I don't think he stacks up as well with Chopin becuase his music doesn't seem to be as variegated.  Chopin explored sundry different styles and was more creative in this way.
(also, his music doesn't contain all the enjoyable runs and cadenzas present in Liszt's music!  Terrible shame!)
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Offline Noah

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #2 on: January 31, 2004, 10:58:12 PM
Schumann is one of my favourite composers. He wrote so many masterpieces:
the piano concerto, cello concerto, violin concerto, piano quintet, piano quartet, string quartets, piano sonatas, other piano works, violin sonatas, amazing lieder, etc.

It brings me much more excitement than most of Liszt's works.
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline allchopin

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #3 on: February 01, 2004, 02:17:08 AM
For example: what is the Schumann equivalent of the Liszt Rigoletto Paraphrase?  Non-existent.
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Offline thracozaag

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #4 on: February 01, 2004, 02:22:38 AM
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For example: what is the Schumann equivalent of the Liszt Rigoletto Paraphrase?  Non-existent.



 uhh..the toccata ;D
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline Noah

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #5 on: February 01, 2004, 04:09:33 AM
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For example: what is the Schumann equivalent of the Liszt Rigoletto Paraphrase?  Non-existent.


Wow, another brilliant one. Why should there be an equivalent ?
'Some musicians don't believe in God, but all believe in Bach'
M. Kagel

Offline Jemmers

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #6 on: February 01, 2004, 03:56:37 PM
If everyone were like Chopin or Liszt, then Chopin and Liszt wouldn't be all so special would they?

Schumann is special cos as far as I remember, he actually took time off composing simple (relatively) pieces for children to play. I think that was quite the most intelligent decision. The topic of his pieces was often light, and dreamy, lending to a completely different style from the virtuosos of his time. (He wasn't one of them virtuosos cos the moron broke his hand...) Of course, that and he ended being a complete nutter.
Still, a genius is a genius.

Offline allchopin

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #7 on: February 01, 2004, 05:25:00 PM
If everyone were like Chopin or Liszt, that would mean that I would be like Chopin and Liszt, and I'd be extremely happy from that day forward.  

I think that every composer should try to reach as many styles as he/she can, if at least only to experiment.  Schumann is wonderful, except that he didn't encompass as much variation as I find in other composers- my representative poll take from my mp3 selection of his Fantasiestücke, 2 sonatas, and various other miniatures.  Just for fun though, I would have liked if he had thrown in a cadenza just one of his works.   You're not a true composer until you have a run as crazy as Liszt's.
;)
DISCLAIMER: This is only a joke, not something to go crazy about.  I hope nobody is offended by this or feels the need to end my life after reading this.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline meiting

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #8 on: February 06, 2004, 03:51:02 PM
If you think you need a cadenza to make a composer...

Schumann is one of the greatest of composers (well, fine, so there's many of them, i stand by my point). I don't think a composer should try to experiment with more styles then what they want to play with. And really, Liszt was one of the very few composers who experimented so much, and in many ways it wasn't so very successful. Schumann also experimented, just not in the same way that Liszt did. Also, don't equate cadenzas with experimentation - in fact, when Schumann didn't write cadenzas, that is MORE experimental than writing them. After all, Bach had already written out cadenzas as well as improvised them, and so had Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Handel, Haydn, and all the composers before. And in Schumann's structure of music, he's in fact much more experimental than most of the composers before him - who else wrote small collections of pieces like Papillons or Kreisleriana etc.? His ideas with some of those pieces actually led to the development of the tone poem. His music is like variations without a theme.
Living for music is a sad state. Living to play music is not.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #9 on: February 06, 2004, 07:09:50 PM
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(also, his music doesn't contain all the enjoyable runs and cadenzas present in Liszt's music!  Terrible shame!)


There's not enough room in the Symphonic Etudes for a cadenza.

One of the keys to Schumann is he found and mastered his own style.

Also, as long as we're mentioning his great works, don't forget his greatest work of all:  Dichterliebe.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline thracozaag

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #10 on: February 06, 2004, 07:45:47 PM
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There's not enough room in the Symphonic Etudes for a cadenza.

One of the keys to Schumann is he found and mastered his own style.

Also, as long as we're mentioning his great works, don't forget his greatest work of all:  Dichterliebe.


 We think alike ;D  And Liederkreis, as well.
"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline eddie92099

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #11 on: February 06, 2004, 10:05:19 PM
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Also, as long as we're mentioning his great works, don't forget his greatest work of all:  Dichterliebe.


Well when you write 13 song cycles in a year, at least one should be good ;D,
Ed

Offline allchopin

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #12 on: February 06, 2004, 11:46:43 PM
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who else wrote small collections of pieces like Papillons or Kreisleriana etc.?

Uhh, just about everyone.  To name a few, Beethoven bagatelles, Chopin mazurkas, Schubert moment musicals, Mendelssohn songs without words, etc.

Hmoll: so your fav is no longer Widmung?
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline thracozaag

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #13 on: February 07, 2004, 12:23:26 AM
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Uhh, just about everyone.  To name a few, Beethoven bagatelles, Chopin mazurkas, Schubert moment musicals, Mendelssohn songs without words, etc.

Hmoll: so your fav is no longer Widmung?


 Uhh..those aren't cyclical in the unique way that Schumann creates large-scale structures.  The Fantasie of Schumann alone cements his greatness, if you can't realize that, more's the pity.

"We have to reach a certain level before we realize how small we are."--Georges Cziffra

Offline bernhard

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #14 on: February 07, 2004, 12:35:55 AM
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 Uhh..those aren't cyclical in the unique way that Schumann creates large-scale structures.  The Fantasie of Schumann alone cements his greatness,



Exactly. How right you are!

Schumann more than any composer before him  explored, invented and revolutionised form. When he first published Papillons no one knew what exactly to make of it. His music was so unusual that if it was not for the fact that he was married to Clara and she persistently played his works in her recitals, he would probably have fallen into obscurity.

Schumann's music may have little immediate, sensual appeal (although even this is arguable), but the more I delve into it, the more amazing as a composer I think he is.

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline meiting

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #15 on: February 08, 2004, 04:16:12 PM
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Uhh, just about everyone.  To name a few, Beethoven bagatelles, Chopin mazurkas, Schubert moment musicals, Mendelssohn songs without words, etc.
Quote


Would you play a schubert moment musical alone? or a Beethoven bagatelle? or a couple of Mazurkas? or 1 or a small group of Mendelssohn Songs without Words? YESSSSSSS.

Would you play a movement of Kreisleriana? or Humoreske? or 1 variation of the Symphonic Etudes? NOOOO, not if you want to be a serious musician.
Living for music is a sad state. Living to play music is not.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #16 on: February 09, 2004, 12:34:39 AM
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Would you play a movement of Kreisleriana? or Humoreske? or 1 variation of the Symphonic Etudes? NOOOO, not if you want to be a serious musician.


I like to play the intro. to Papillons, and then move on to something else.

;)
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline zhiliang

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #17 on: February 10, 2004, 05:07:02 AM
Yeah i believe that Schumann is really greatly underrated when he was still alive. Schumann, as a pianist composer, made the piano partake fully in the expression of emotion, often giving it the most telling music. His piano music is intimate (which does not mean gentle), or again, private, even individual, very personal, since to play Schumann implies a technical innocence very few artists can attain. He does not need brilliant octave passages and running scales to make music beautiful and in fact he scorned it for the sake of display. His Fantasy in C Major is one of the giant piano pieces alongside Chopin PIano Sonata in B Flat and of course Liszt B Minor Sonata.

In his 4 symphonies, they actually contain the most beautiful of his melodies and the only thing is critics always point out a weakness in his orchestration so much so that conductors like Mahler actually rescore some of them. He wrote them more with the thinking of piano rather than orchestra.

He was also a brilliant and perceptive critic: his writings embody the most progressive aspects of musical thinking in his time, and he drew attention to many promising young composers and i believe that Schumann is really one of the most important figures in the Romantic era.

Regards,

Zhiliang
-- arthur rubinstein --

Offline allchopin

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #18 on: February 10, 2004, 05:29:37 AM
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Would you play a movement of Kreisleriana?

Actually, I have a recording (well, several) of Horowitz (I think) playing just one of the Kreisleriana (#3)... unless you mean separate movements within each of these.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline Ecthelion

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #19 on: February 13, 2004, 12:55:43 PM
I think Schumann is very underrated. I love his pieces, especially the a moll concerto, the Fantasy in C and his op. 12 Fantasy pieces (I actually play some of them).

I guess Fantasy in C is one of his greatest works.

Offline meiting

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #20 on: March 08, 2004, 06:51:29 AM
Next to last message on this forum -

As most of you can see I haven't frequented this forum in a while. Part of that is due to the fact that I have been busy, and part of it has been the fact that many of the posts in this forum has degenerated to something that did not make me want to respond. And so I'm saying goodbye for now. I'll leave some contact info so people can reach me, but please let's not have this "you suck" or "Listen to this music I just composed" crap. If that happens whoever it was will go on the blocked list.

Back to topic, Schumann only composed for the sophiscated audience, and not everyone can appreciate his brilliance.
Living for music is a sad state. Living to play music is not.

Offline trunks

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Re: What about Schumann?
Reply #21 on: April 02, 2004, 12:39:51 AM
Schumann's scores are not uncommonly awkward to the hands although the melodies thus churned out are often some of the most profound. The opening bars of the introductory theme of the Symphonic Etudes Op.13 is a good example. In short, Schumann is no easy stuff at all, not even in his Papillons Op.2 and many individual pieces in his Album for the Young, Op.68.

Schumann, like Mozart, Debussy, Ravel and perhaps Tchaikovsky, has a distinct signature in most of his works, inimitable and immediately recognisable as the composer's own.

I agree with zhiliang that Schumann's Fantasia in C, Op.17 is as monumental as Liszt's B minor Sonata (and curiously with similar layouts - both have tranquil endings) and Chopin's sonatas. The opening movement is effective and surprisingly easy to acquire, leaving the showmanship and climax to the second movement. And what a lovely ending movement - the coda is extremely beautiful, almost angelic. Most definitely one of Schumanns's most touching moments!

The Carnaval Op.9, Fantasiestucke Op.12 and Kriesleriana Op.16 are great masterpieces yet each set contains many of its awkwardness in terms of fingerwork.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist
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