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Topic: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?  (Read 29048 times)

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #150 on: June 30, 2015, 08:30:58 PM
A proper romantic concerto. Stenhammer knows how to let his imagination soar.

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Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #151 on: June 30, 2015, 08:48:13 PM
The Schumann concerto is the apotheosis of petit bourgeois banality, and if piano playing was always just more of the same, I'd take up a really interesting hobby like watching paint dry or darning socks.
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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #152 on: June 30, 2015, 09:02:59 PM
Well said that man.
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Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #153 on: June 30, 2015, 10:26:53 PM
https://books.google.com/books?id=7nDFAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA244&lpg=PA244&dq=Romantic+Music+period,+bourgeoise&source=bl&ots=BjK6UjYfKm&sig=-NUZteNn9Kv7i3FFwEj2HNhIqc4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0hOTVa67NIncsAXUwL6ICg&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Romantic%20Music%20period%2C%20bourgeoise&f=false

It was thru the bourgeoise that this music - of the Whole romantic  movement - was born… The luxurious dream, however, cannot be separated from the possibility of 'the banal' in any of that repertoire… (and i don't think that that  is  necessarily  a bad thing… ) So why then, split hairs (!) and make Schumann the sacrificial lamb?  (btw, i do believe Schumann has a few moments in that concerto of exquisite beauty…. 1st mov't. , in a  development  section, where the harp like  arpeggios accompany the woodwinds.. )
(i am picking up a certain sense of sour grapes on this one…)
Cheers!
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Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #154 on: June 30, 2015, 10:45:29 PM
I did specify petit bourgeois ;)

On a serious note, I'd like to pose a question.

IF it is the case, as is often stated with Schumann and Mozart, that it is great music, but it takes a "special artist" to bring out its greatness, then why, when a different "special artist" - say Katsaris or Wild - makes something magical out of, for example, certain pieces of salon music, is the converse argument deployed i.e. it was a great performance making something out of mediocre material?
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Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #155 on: June 30, 2015, 11:10:52 PM
It seems we are mixing 'performance' with the value judgment  of a composition…  This is inevitably a messy equation…. To me there is only One composer that consistently defies mediocrity : Bach .  (though there is nothing wrong with a little bacon grease for a smoother ride ;D
 
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Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #156 on: July 01, 2015, 01:37:12 AM
"is the converse argument deployed"…   Yes.  They can't have it both ways.. I agree.

(wish i could now modify part of my previous post…. perhaps more like: "There are but few composers who defy mediocrity consistently, and of whom, Bach is certainly in the running."  ;)

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Offline piano_afficianado

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #157 on: January 06, 2023, 01:40:21 AM
I think it's simply that people have different likes and dislikes; one individual's treasure is another's trash. I'm actually a flutist, but have great affection for this concerto. I don't even know that I can quantify that, and am not sure that it's even necessary. My solution to these things is simple: if you don't like a piece of music don't listen to it. And resist the urge to "correct" other opinions if at all possible. There's a lot of music to listen to, and life is short!

Online pianopro181

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #158 on: January 08, 2023, 09:56:46 PM
Even those who like Schumann still think his concerto is lousy. 

Why? 

I just don't get it.  I don't particularly like or dislike his concerto, but why is it so popular if it sucks so bad?

Don’t know, seems like a bit of a cop out concerto when you’ve got so many other great ones to chose from in comparison. Even Grieg is more exciting. Also, it’s extremely repetitive and the theme is very ‘airy-fairy’. Schumann in general is quite dry.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #159 on: January 09, 2023, 01:36:04 AM
I actually prefer the Schuamnn to the Grieg... not by much, but I've heard a lot of people playing and performing (recordings and live) the Grieg that you can get sick of it. To me the themes and transition passages are a little clunky and don't effortlessly weave sometimes between melodies. A bit like Rachmaninoff's 1st Concerto.
Schuamnn seems a little more cohesive to me.

Offline droprenstein

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #160 on: January 09, 2023, 11:49:23 PM
I actually prefer the Schuamnn to the Grieg... not by much, but I've heard a lot of people playing and performing (recordings and live) the Grieg that you can get sick of it. To me the themes and transition passages are a little clunky and don't effortlessly weave sometimes between melodies. A bit like Rachmaninoff's 1st Concerto.
Schuamnn seems a little more cohesive to me.

The Rachmaninoff 1st(edited version of course) is actually one of my favorite concertos, mainly because it manages to pull off this clunkiness to create a good effect. The Schumann does not pull this off, neither does the Grieg. I'll try to sightread them for fun, but I'd never put much work into them. On the other hand, I'd love to play the Rachmaninoff 1st concerto with an orchestra, because it's Rachmaninoff-ian style makes the abruptness a part of the structure. And the second movement is virtually unparalleled in sublimity.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #161 on: January 10, 2023, 01:06:07 AM
The Rachmaninoff 1st(edited version of course) is actually one of my favorite concertos, mainly because it manages to pull off this clunkiness to create a good effect. The Schumann does not pull this off, neither does the Grieg.

Completely agree with your comment on Grieg, but the Schumann is definitely more cohesive than the Grieg - it's not fair to lump Schumann in that manner with the Grieg.

Offline droprenstein

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #162 on: January 10, 2023, 01:32:19 AM
Completely agree with your comment on Grieg, but the Schumann is definitely more cohesive than the Grieg - it's not fair to lump Schumann in that manner with the Grieg.
I'll agree that the Schumann concerto does feel a bit more grounded and structured, though to be honest, that isn't a very high bar. Grieg's concerto feels like a skating rink filled with drunk toddlers. Schumann in general has some very good pieces, I just think he messed up this concerto.

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #163 on: January 10, 2023, 09:01:30 AM
I'll agree that the Schumann concerto does feel a bit more grounded and structured, though to be honest, that isn't a very high bar.

That's okay - I never said it was a high bar anyway. Fun question though - how would you rate it in terms of cohesion of melody and transitions, compared to the 1st Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto???

Offline droprenstein

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #164 on: January 10, 2023, 11:01:56 PM
That's okay - I never said it was a high bar anyway. Fun question though - how would you rate it in terms of cohesion of melody and transitions, compared to the 1st Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto???
I've never extensively listened to Tchaikovsky's 1st Piano Concerto, as it's really one of those painfully overplayed concertos. After a few listens, I think it's superior to the Schumann concerto in a few ways, including melodic transitions.
Also why are we reviving an 8 year old post

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #165 on: January 11, 2023, 02:31:35 AM
After a few listens, I think it's superior to the Schumann concerto in a few ways, including melodic transitions.

I think that's where you and I differ - at least in the 1st movement anyway. The 2nd and 3rd are a lot better.

Didn't realise this thread was originally from 2015.

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #166 on: January 11, 2023, 03:34:54 AM
I forgot Robby even had a concerto lol

Shout out Clara though
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Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #167 on: January 11, 2023, 10:58:56 AM
Holy crap - I think to this day I've never heard the Piano Concerto from Clara. I'm going to have to look this up.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #168 on: January 11, 2023, 04:01:28 PM
It is not so much that it sucks, but more a mystery why it is played so often when there are 100 superior alternatives.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #169 on: January 11, 2023, 05:35:32 PM
It is not so much that it sucks, but more a mystery why it is played so often when there are 100 superior alternatives.
Fair comment. The wondrous Martha Argerich alone, for example, plays it far more often than seems necessary, but then her public concerto repertoire is sadly very restricted anyway (why oh why does she keep playing Prokofiev's Third Concerto when all the other four are finer, especially the Second?!)... Anyway, as I've mentioned elsewhere, it's simply not good Schumann - a workmanlike and largely dull opening movement, a passingly attractive middle one and a finale that persistently repeats what's hardly worth stating in the first place as though he's aping Schubert in his worst moments! Schumann could and did do far better than this, albeit not in music for piano and orchestra...
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Offline mjames

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #170 on: January 14, 2023, 09:36:33 AM
I forgot Robby even had a concerto lol

Shout out Clara though

Her concerto, very clearly inspired by the very same composer you dislike. ;)

Unfortunately nowhere near as good, most likely had to do with Robert's intervention (heard he had revised the concerto).

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #171 on: January 14, 2023, 06:35:29 PM
"Unfortunately nowhere near as good, most likely had to do with Robert's intervention (heard he had revised the concerto)."

In order to arrive at this judgment, I am assuming that you have looked at the original (Clara's) and have compared it against Robert's revision. Have you?
If not, then why is it "most likely"?
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Offline mjames

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #172 on: January 14, 2023, 08:15:27 PM
It's the most reasonable conclusion: anyone with a modicum of talent within Robert's social circle was robbed of their musical potential. A sort of musical vampire if you will, difference being Robert didn't actually get better as his list of victims increased.

Offline frodo3

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #173 on: January 14, 2023, 08:55:09 PM
It's the most reasonable conclusion: anyone with a modicum of talent within Robert's social circle was robbed of their musical potential. A sort of musical vampire if you will, difference being Robert didn't actually get better as his list of victims increased.

???  Schumann prophesied great things for Schunke, William Sterndale Bennett, and Brahms among others.  This may have put added pressure on these composers, but the truly great were able to overcome this burden - namely Brahms.  Did Schumann rob them of their potential?  Certainly not in the case of Brahms.  Was it Schumann's fault that Schunke died soon after Schumann's prophesy?

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #174 on: January 14, 2023, 10:16:58 PM
MJames - How exactly can a composer be 'robbed' of their creative mind by another composer?
You state that this is a 'reasonable' assumption.
Are there composers within Robert's circle, as you say, that you believe had an individual voice that was robbed.
If they gave up their 'voice' based on the fear of Schumann, what does that say about their own conviction.
This 'idea' of being robbed reminds me of what certain Christians say - that the institution of marriage is being robbed by 'gay' marriage.
A composer must have conviction, if nothing else, otherwise, their pursuit is a lost cause anyways.
Brahms had said he didn't write his first symphony until age 43 because he was under the shadow of Beethoven. It was Robert, who indeed, did encourage him to complete the symphony.
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Offline frodo3

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #175 on: January 14, 2023, 10:34:22 PM
Brahms had said he didn't write his first symphony until age 43 because he was under the shadow of Beethoven. It was Robert, who indeed, did encourage him to complete the symphony.

You are correct.  I believe Brahms intended his piano concerto #1 to be a sonata for 2 pianos at first.  Then he began reworking it into a symphony - the one that Robert and Clara had pushed him to write.  The opening was inspired by Schumann's attempted suicide - one of the most powerful passages Brahms ever wrote.  Finally it settled as his first piano concerto - although Brahms was never fully happy with it. 

He worked on the actual first symphony for close to 20 years before finally feeling it was good enough.   Brahms supposedly completed 20 string quartets - ALL of which were discarded - before publishing his first 2 quartets.  This was also due to his feeling that he was in the shadow of Beethoven.  He was under the self imposed pressure of trying to match Beethoven.

Offline visitor

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #176 on: January 24, 2023, 12:20:11 PM
It's the most reasonable conclusion: anyone with a modicum of talent within Robert's social circle was robbed of their musical potential. A sort of musical vampire if you will, difference being Robert didn't actually get better as his list of victims increased.
*visitor celebrates this

Offline danesi

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #177 on: January 27, 2023, 06:47:46 PM
The same reason so many people dislike the Bruch Violin Concerto, despite it getting played constantly.  It's trashy; popular with common audiences, not so much with serious music listeners.

Personally, I quite like the Bruch Violin Concerto. River Flows in You, or Mozart Sonata 16, on the other hand….
Play piano. It is groovy!
Bach-Busoni > Bach-Brahms ;)

Offline frodo3

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #178 on: January 27, 2023, 07:03:03 PM
For those that do not like Schumann's piano concerto, I ask that you consider his violin concerto.  This work has an interesting past.  I consider it to be a great work.

From Wikipedia:
Schumann wrote it in Düsseldorf between September 11 and  October 3, 1853 for the violinist Joseph Joachim. On October 1, 1853, the young Johannes Brahms entered Schumann's life. It appears that Schumann composed the finale of the Concerto in three days: 1–3 October, after making Brahms’s acquaintance.

Joachim deposited the manuscript of the concerto with the Prussian State Library in Berlin, and stated in his will (he died in 1907) that the work should be neither played nor published until 100 years after the composer's death, i.e. until 1956.

Here is 1st mvt - the other 2 mvts are also available on youtube if anyone is interested.

Offline frodo3

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #179 on: February 05, 2023, 12:37:03 AM
It's the most reasonable conclusion: anyone with a modicum of talent within Robert's social circle was robbed of their musical potential. A sort of musical vampire if you will, difference being Robert didn't actually get better as his list of victims increased.

Hello Mjames.  Sorry you feel this way about Robert Schumann!   :-X

Offline frodo3

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #180 on: February 06, 2023, 03:16:14 AM
Just listened to the 3rd mvt of the Schumann piano concerto.  One of the most exciting finales in the piano concerto literature!

Movement III – Allegro vivace
Opening with a flourish from the strings before a bold interlude from the piano, the winds prepare a segue into the main A major theme of this movement. The fluctuating time signatures in this movement creates great movement in the music, often flitting between 3/4 , 3/2 and 6/4.

The exciting developments heard in this movement are a testament to Schumann’s melodic writing. The excitement in the music is threaded throughout and really keeps you on the edge of your seat. The extended cadenza builds the tension until the winds signal the start of the much-anticipated coda. The coda section is perhaps the most exciting of the whole movement, with intricate fragments played by the soloist and parts of the orchestra. The concerto comes to its epic conclusion with a reinstatement of the theme before a dramatic ascending piano scale until the final tutti chord.

Here is from wikipedia - I dare any of you Schumann haters to change the wording.  I'll look for your edits.  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Reception
The contemporary reception of the work was consistently positive. Clara Schumann wrote after the premiere: "... how rich in invention, how interesting from the beginning to the end, how fresh and what a beautiful coherent whole!"[4]

Special emphasis was placed on the skilful, colorful and independent orchestral treatment, that would leave room for piano and orchestra alike. The Leipzig Allgemeine Musikzeitung praised the composition on December 31: "because, fortunately, it avoids the usual monotony of the genre, by giving, with great love and care, the obligatory room to orchestra without diminishing the role of the piano, and manages to beautifully link both independent parts together".[5]

The Dresdner Abendzeitung praised the "quite independent, beautiful and interesting orchestral treatment", and recognizes that the "receding of the piano part into the background" could certainly also be seen as progress.[6]

The work may have been used as a model by Edvard Grieg in composing his own Piano Concerto, also in A minor. Grieg's concerto, like Schumann's, employs a single powerful orchestral chord at its introduction before the piano's entrance with a similar descending flourish. Sergei Rachmaninoff in turn used Grieg's concerto as a model for his first Piano Concerto.

The work has become one of the most widely performed and recorded piano concertos from the Romantic period. It has frequently been paired with the Grieg concerto on recordings.

In popular music, the theme of Eusebius (together with Florestan one of Robert Schumann's two imaginary alter egos), which appears played by an oboe and other wind instruments soon into the first movement, might have been an original source of inspiration, possibly via the 1911 suite Goyescas by Spanish composer Enrique Granados, of the song Bésame mucho, whose worldwide success dates back to the 1930s.[7]



Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #181 on: February 08, 2023, 07:37:50 PM
  Did Schumann rob them of their potential? 
He certainly robbed Clara of her potential.
Before she had the misfortune to meet him, she was happily playing Henselt, Liszt and Thalberg in concert which she later dropped in favour of his Teutonic Trash.
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Offline frodo3

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #182 on: February 08, 2023, 09:10:03 PM
He certainly robbed Clara of her potential.
Before she had the misfortune to meet him, she was happily playing Henselt, Liszt and Thalberg in concert which she later dropped in favour of his Teutonic Trash.

Hello Thalbergmad!  I feel I must respond now having only just begun my current journey elsewhere.  I was not going to return here until September.  I shall make an exception in this case.  Thank you for your response.  I look forward to continuing our discussion when I return in September.

First, I ask that you consider responding to my newly created thread entitled Five (5) questions for members of the “I hate Schumann club” that you will currently find about 10 threads below (in this Repertoire piano board).  I made this thread especially for you and your followers!  I hope you will consider responding to this, my intellectual honesty challenge to you.  I look forward to your participation in this thread.

Secondly, history has judged Henselt and Thalberg to be mere footnotes in the annals of music history.  You will correct me if you believe that this is not the case. 

Henselt and Thalberg have their names merely mentioned only one time in my 3rd edition of Donald Grout’s “A History of Western Music”.  The mention of their names appears in the below quote from this book.  You may wish to comment on this.  Robert Schumann on the other hand has multiple pages devoted to him in this book discussing the following: Chamber music of, Choral works of, Lieder of, Opera of, Piano music of, Symphonies of, etc. You may also wish to comment on this.
_______________________________________________________________________________
Donald Grout
"A History of Western Music" - 3rd edition
Chapter XVII
The Nineteenth Century: Instrumental Music
The Piano

The piano of the nineteenth century was a quite different instrument from the one for which Mozart had written…...  Etc., Etc.

At the beginning of the century there were two distinct schools of piano playing: one emphasized clarity of texture and fluency of technique, and was represented by Mozart’s talented pupil Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837). The other school, to which Beethoven certainly belonged, ……  Etc., Etc.

As technical requirements became constantly more exacting and new styles of piano music developed in the nineteenth century, several important schools of playing and composition emerged. Elegance and sentiment, brightness and clarity, were the goals of Clementi’s pupil John Field (1782-1837), Hummel’s pupil Adolf von Henselt (1814-99), and (for the most part) Chopin, whose early works in particular show the influence of Hummel’s style. Other pianists aimed rather at impressiveness, audacity, and showmanship. The most conspicuous figures here were Friedrich Kalkbrenner (1785-1849), Sigismund Thalberg (1812-71), and the exotic American Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-69)—all successful display pianists but, as composers, decidedly of second rank. A third group were the great virtuosos of the nineteenth century, outstanding for both technical and interpretive gifts, the “Titans of the piano:” Franz Liszt, Anton Rubinstein (1829-94), Hans von Billow (1830-94), and Karl Tausig (1841 —71). Of these, Liszt and Rubinstein were also important as composers and von Billow as a conductor.

The best composers and performers of piano music in the nineteenth century tried to avoid the two extremes of sentimental salon music and pointless technical display. Among those whose style and technique were primarily determined by the musical substance, without superfluous ornament or bravura, were Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Clara Wieck Schumann (1819-96).

Etc, Etc.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #183 on: February 09, 2023, 07:50:49 AM
I would have never thought that the amount of times something was mentioned in a book was a jufdge of quality.
One may accuse Thalberg and Dreyschock of pianistic confetti, but certainly not Henselt.
If anyone thinks that the Schumann concerto is superior to the Henselt F Minor, they are simply on another planet to me. The Henselt has everything and he doesnt repeat the same theme over and again becuase he wasnt short of musical ideas.
So, the Schumann is played in concert all over the World on a regular basis and the Henselt hardly ever, but I do not think this is a matter of quality, it is more like a question of safety.
Just about anyone who has gone through music school could play the Schumann, but only a handful could do the Henselt justice.
Tha Bang Bangs and Wangs of this World probably couldnt play it and there manfactured reputation on trotting out the same dross would be at risk.
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Offline mjames

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #184 on: February 10, 2023, 08:10:50 AM
Anyone who dislikes ornamentation and bravura in their piano music and considers it to be superfluous probably doesn't like the piano at all. Debussy, Ravel, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Liszt all incorporate ornamentation as an integral part of their compositional style. I'm not even going to compare Chopin's late works like the Barcarolle, 4th Ballade, or 3rd Sonata - Chopin's e minor concerto has more expression and genius than anything in Schumann's ouvre, let alone that god awful concerto.

I'll tell you why I find Schumann to be boring. Although he was capable of conceiving a decent (and sometimes lovely) melody he was always, and I mean always, restricted by his rigidity. Whether it's rhythmic, melodic or structural rigidity. Dotted rhythms, dotted rhythms, and dotted rhythms. He could have learned a thing or two from "bravura" composers, as what they excelled with interesting rythmic ideas. And as Thal pointed out: repetition. Repetition is fine, plenty of it in Chopin, Liszt or Rachmaninoff. Hell the main theme in Chopin's 4th ballade repeat about a dozen times; difference is it's always cleverly done and rife with spontaneity. Schumann will just drone on and on never deviating far enough from its original form, no surprise or spontaneity in his ideas.

Also claiming Mendelssohn to be a great piano composer has to be some sort of joke, that book lost all sorts of credibility right there.

Offline ahinton

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #185 on: February 10, 2023, 12:57:58 PM
Anyone who dislikes ornamentation and bravura in their piano music and considers it to be superfluous probably doesn't like the piano at all. Debussy, Ravel, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Liszt all incorporate ornamentation as an integral part of their compositional style. I'm not even going to compare Chopin's late works like the Barcarolle, 4th Ballade, or 3rd Sonata - Chopin's e minor concerto has more expression and genius than anything in Schumann's ouvre, let alone that god awful concerto.

I'll tell you why I find Schumann to be boring. Although he was capable of conceiving a decent (and sometimes lovely) melody he was always, and I mean always, restricted by his rigidity. Whether it's rhythmic, melodic or structural rigidity. Dotted rhythms, dotted rhythms, and dotted rhythms. He could have learned a thing or two from "bravura" composers, as what they excelled with interesting rythmic ideas. And as Thal pointed out: repetition. Repetition is fine, plenty of it in Chopin, Liszt or Rachmaninoff. Hell the main theme in Chopin's 4th ballade repeat about a dozen times; difference is it's always cleverly done and rife with spontaneity. Schumann will just drone on and on never deviating far enough from its original form, no surprise or spontaneity in his ideas.

Also claiming Mendelssohn to be a great piano composer has to be some sort of joke, that book lost all sorts of credibility right there.
Dotted rhythms infect even the second movement of Schumann's Fantasy which must be one of his greatest works (and he dedicated it to Liszt).

As far as the repetition thing goes, the arch-enemy here is surely Schubert, whose final works seem at last to show a new composer emerging from under the vast quantities of often over-repetitititititive music that he'd written previously, but even here he seems reluctant to cast aside his repetitive obsession for long.

No, for me the problem with the Schumann Concerto is that it's one of his least appealing and least meritorious works; he could do far better than that and at times he most certainly did - I'd rest my case for that on the B Minor Allegro Op. 8, the Fantasy, the Études Symphoniques and the piano quintet alone, compared to any of which the Concerto, whose immense popularity has long been a mystery to me, is for the most part embarrassingly inferior...
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #186 on: February 10, 2023, 05:36:39 PM

I'll tell you why I find Schumann to be boring. Although he was capable of conceiving a decent (and sometimes lovely) melody he was always, and I mean always, restricted by his rigidity.
Perfectly put.
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Concerto Preservation Society

Offline ahinton

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Re: Why do so many think the Schumann concerto sucks?
Reply #187 on: February 13, 2023, 10:46:12 AM
Perfectly put.
Not always, in my view, but certainly sometimes - and I believe that he was by no means the only composer ever to have written just too much music, a habit which easily allows such dangers to rear themselves. Consider Schubert, Milhaud, Villa-Lobos and certain others (though others seem rather more often to get away with it - Mozart, Weinberg...). That said, I'm afraid that if I never hear that concerto again it will be too soon! I adore Martha Argerich but have never understood why she performs it SO often (and even she can't convince me of its supposed virtues)...
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive
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