Schumann’s 4th Symphony, as you might guess from the title of this post, has a rather checkered history. It’s one of the composer’s most original works – which might go some way toward explaining the rather chilly reception it got when first performed in 1841. The score languished on Schumann’s work desk for ten years; then, […]
Waldszenen, (Forest Scenes) Op. 82 is one of Schumann’s last piano works. It consists of nine short pieces all with (sometimes enigmatic) titles. This is no ordinary leaf-mold-under-foot, dappled-sunlight sort of forest but a magical one out of the fairy stories of Grimm and Perrault and; while many of the pieces are jolly evocations of […]
Liederjahr = the Year of Song. Two years prior to 1842’s splurge of chamber music, Schumann, with the same monomania/single-mindedness that he was to lavish on the string quartet and piano quartet and quintet, spent most of 1840 writing songs. He managed in that one year to produce a grand total of 138 of them! Amongst […]
1842 was Robert Schumann’s chamber music year. Not only did he complete three string quartets but the year also saw the composition of both a piano quartet (violin, viola, cello, piano) and a piano quintet (string quartet, piano). The Quintet is one of Schumann’s best known and, arguably, finest works; it was composed during September […]
or, to move it into a more easily readable range: This is what happens near the opening of the Schubert B-flat Sonata D. 960; firstly, the opening melody – beautiful, serene – comes to rest on a chord of F when suddenly, from the bottom left hand of the keyboard, comes a long grumbling growl (see […]
Any listing of Mendelssohn’s most popular works, would have his violin concerto somewhere near the top. His rethinking of the concerto form – started with his two piano concertos – here reaches its apogee; and the success of this remodelling can be measured by the plethora of famous near-imitations that followed it — the violin […]
Our logo/featured image for this term – based on an early Augener edition of Mendelssohn’s 48 Songs Without Words for piano – comes to us courtesy of the artistic skills of Bill Bytheway. Thanks Bill!