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Topic: Schumann: Fantasy  (Read 2622 times)

Offline sary2106

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Schumann: Fantasy
on: January 17, 2003, 03:51:12 PM
Does anyone know anything about Schumann's Fantasy in c minor? I am playing it for a competition next year. I just "discovered" the piece on my Gieseking CD. It's so beautiful!

Supposedly, Schumann wrote the Fantasy as a tribute to Beethoven. Is this is true? I am playing the Fantasy in a 60-minute recital with Beethoven's "Waldstein" sonata, so if would definitely fit together.

Any info on this beautiful song would be appreciated. Thanks.

Sarah
"Everything has to be a matter of life and death. The evidence is right here. Suffering and joy. That's all there is. They're so close, it strikes terror into the human soul."

The Mozart Season

Offline tosca1

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Re: Schumann: Fantasy
Reply #1 on: January 17, 2003, 08:07:06 PM
Hello Sarah,
I think that  the Schumann Fantasy is in C major but it was written in honour of Beethoven and to combine it with a monumental Beethoven piece such as the Waldstein sonata is a lovely idea.
However, you would then be playing two long pieces in the same key and how Beethoven proclaims C major in the final pages of the Waldstein! Would it not be better to play two extended pieces in contrasting keys or one long work and some contrasting shorter pieces by the same composers?  
Just a suggestion...
Best wishes,
Robert. :)

Offline rachfan

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Re: Schumann: Fantasy
Reply #2 on: January 18, 2003, 01:39:29 AM
Robert's idea for programming works of contrasting keys for a recital is a good one.  Along with style, tempo, and mood, changes of key signature provide the listener with welcomed variety.  Schumann's Fantasie does have several changes of key within the piece, but starts in C and ends solidly in C.

To answer your question though, Schumann composed the piece in 1836 and in his diary of December of that year wrote "... Work: Sonata for Beethoven."  His original plan was to donate the proceeds from the piece to the erection of Beethoven's monument at Bonn.  
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline sary2106

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Re: Schumann: Fantasy
Reply #3 on: January 18, 2003, 11:50:31 PM
Thanks so much for the key signature thing... (Don't think I'm brainless... but I seriously thought the Fantasy was in c minor, I guess I just saw "Fantasy in C" on the CD case and thought "Oh, that's in c minor") I wasn't intentionally planning to do 2 things in the same key; 2 huge pieces in the same key would be too much. Thanks for pointing it out!

Glad to know that he really did intend the piece for Beethoven, though. =)

Sarah
"Everything has to be a matter of life and death. The evidence is right here. Suffering and joy. That's all there is. They're so close, it strikes terror into the human soul."

The Mozart Season

Offline tosca1

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Re: Schumann: Fantasy
Reply #4 on: January 19, 2003, 12:10:06 AM
Thank you for your nice reply, Sarah.  I have been thinking of other Schumann works of less epic proportions than the "Fantasy" for you.  Yesterday on the radio I heard part of a performance of "Papillons" opus 2 and I thought how beautifully they would complement the "Waldstein" sonata.  Certainly much easier to learn than the "Fantasy" with a refreshing key contrast too and it's quintessential Schumann whom I regard as the archetypal romantic composer both in his music and his life.
Keep up the great music!
Robert.

Offline foxglove

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Re: Schumann: Fantasy
Reply #5 on: February 08, 2003, 02:15:08 AM
Here's something I learned once from Chas. Rosen:  As you know, Schumann had the bad idea late in life when he was beset by mental instability, to go back through a number of his earlier works and change little quirky details here and there.   Naturally we all agree that with Schumann, the quirkier the better!  Anyway, one very significant change he made in the Fantasie was to completely eliminate his original conclusion of the 3rd mvmt, which featured the "An Die Ferne Geliebst" motif in whole from the first mvmt.  The infallible Edward Cone told me once it was published in a journal recently, but I forget which one it was.  I tried it that way once, and recommend the effect.

Offline ned

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Re: Schumann: Fantasy
Reply #6 on: February 10, 2003, 10:18:09 PM
The alternate ( original) ending is printed in the Henle edition of the Fantasy, as I recall.
Ned

Offline trunks

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Re: Schumann: Fantasy
Reply #7 on: April 07, 2004, 01:15:59 AM
I would stick to the name Fantasia rather than 'Fantasy'. One of Schumann's monuments, it is definitely my favourite piece the composer ever wrote. One thing I don't quite agree with the composer is the order of the second and third movements.

But then listen to the ending of the last (slow) movement. Such soothing, almost angelic melody! Sounds as if it were composed from Heaven.

Mind you . . . the second movement is hard, especially the glorious climax in the coda.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist
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