Author Topic: Schumann's greatest work?  (Read 16480 times)

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Offline amw

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2017, 02:07:47 AM »
IMO Davidsbündlertänze, Carnaval, the Fantasy, Kreisleriana & Humoreske are top 4, with no clear first choice among them. There aren't any others I would put on the same level, though some that come close (the Eichendorff Liederkreis, the F sharp minor sonata, the Fantasiestücke Op. 12, Dichterliebe, Etudes Symphoniques early version, & the Heine Liederkreis).

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2017, 04:09:54 AM »
IMO Davidsbündlertänze, Carnaval, the Fantasy, Kreisleriana & Humoreske are top 4, with no clear first choice among them. There aren't any others I would put on the same level, though some that come close (the Eichendorff Liederkreis, the F sharp minor sonata, the Fantasiestücke Op. 12, Dichterliebe, Etudes Symphoniques early version, & the Heine Liederkreis).

What do you make of the op 11 sonata? I'm getting interested in it, I think it's possible to make it I to really into good music, you should play it. Same for the op 63 trio.

Ah I see it's in F sharp minor! never having played it I didn't know its key.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 12:31:50 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline amw

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2017, 04:41:26 AM »
Yes that's the one! The best of his sonatas imo. I have tried to play it (it's got some really awkward writing in the first movement, crossed hands and big stretches...) and although it has a kind of relentless repetitiousness that Schumann sometimes falls into when he's trying to write large-scale forms, some of it -- particularly the return of the second theme in the first movement, in the tonic minor instead of major, and one tiny themelet that interrupts the finale's headlong rush twice -- can be almost unbearably moving in a way that very little else is.
https://youtu.be/XOiF0KTCI6Y?t=27m34s
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 04:51:01 AM by amw »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2017, 04:46:40 AM »
Yes that's the one! The best of his sonatas imo. I have tried to play it (it's got some really awkward writing in the first movement, crossed hands and big stretches...) and although it has a kind of relentless repetitiousness that Schumann sometimes falls into when he's trying to write large-scale forms, some of it -- particularly the return of the second theme in the first movement, in the tonic minor instead of major, and one tiny themelet that interrupts the finale's headlong rush twice -- can be almost unbearably moving in a way that very little else is.

It's the last movement which I think is the most difficult to listen to. Gieseking pulls it off by making it hot headed, mad.
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Offline amw

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2017, 04:55:46 AM »
That's basically what it is! Two themes a tritone apart with no relation between them, going round and round towards madness. There's a moment at the end when the music almost breaks down completely before somehow pushing itself back into F-sharp major from a seemingly endless series of diminished chords. It should ideally sound like music on the edge between ecstasy and mania. Imo obviously. Perahia et al. see it differently lol.

Offline Omicron9

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #45 on: August 27, 2017, 07:38:42 AM »
For me, it is his string quartets.
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Offline Alberich

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2017, 05:28:42 AM »
Das Paradies und die Peri, Scenes from Goethe's Faust, the violin concerto, the piano concerto, string quartets, many of his Lieder... I don't care much for his symphonies right now, I may have liked them once but nowadays they seem dull.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2017, 05:36:47 AM »
Well, I listened to the Fantasy in C, Op.17 last night, and I came away thinking that is the piece which may qualify.
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Offline bwv 1080

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #48 on: August 28, 2017, 05:39:52 AM »
Think Rosen said something like Schumann was the first composer to digest Beethoven, and the Fantasy was certainly the prime work that did it

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Offline opaquer

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #49 on: August 28, 2017, 06:50:46 PM »
Probably the piano concerto

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2017, 01:15:01 AM »
Probably the piano concerto

Nnnnoooo.

The piano quintet, much more likely.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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Offline zamyrabyrd

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #51 on: August 29, 2017, 01:57:40 AM »
IMO Davidsbündlertänze, Carnaval, the Fantasy, Kreisleriana & Humoreske are top 4, with no clear first choice among them. There aren't any others I would put on the same level, though some that come close (the Eichendorff Liederkreis, the F sharp minor sonata, the Fantasiestücke Op. 12, Dichterliebe, Etudes Symphoniques early version, & the Heine Liederkreis).

It's hard to choose when so many great works are not large scale but in the medium to small size variety, in particular his songs. I would agree with the above except that I do like the Db No. 5 "extra" etude included in the Symphonic Etudes and would definitely add the Piano Concerto.

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Offline Jo498

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #52 on: August 29, 2017, 02:04:41 AM »
My favorite chamber piece from this composer is probably the piano *quartet* although the more brilliant and extravert quintet is also great.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #53 on: August 29, 2017, 02:06:57 AM »
Think Rosen said something like Schumann was the first composer to digest Beethoven, and the Fantasy was certainly the prime work that did it

What do you think it means,  to digest Beethoven? I mean I know there's some sort of dedication to Beethoven in the first movement of the fantasy, is that all he means? We all know what happens to food after it's been digested.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 02:10:02 AM by Mandryka »
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Online ritter

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #54 on: August 29, 2017, 02:09:17 AM »
It's not really for me to opine on Schumann's "greatest" work, as his music is rather distant from my own aesthetic sensibility, and I therefore don't listen to it much, but I do think Frauenliebe und -leben is a great achievement (and a pinnacle of the Lied repertoire IMO).
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 02:47:09 AM by ritter »
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #55 on: August 29, 2017, 05:15:19 AM »
It's hard to choose when so many great works are not large scale but in the medium to small size variety, in particular his songs. I would agree with the above except that I do like the Db No. 5 "extra" etude included in the Symphonic Etudes and would definitely add the Piano Concerto.

It’s not that I dislike the Piano Concerto, it is a very pleasant listen;  and I expect that it is very gratifying for the soloist.

I just remember, to this day, how less-than-exciting an experience it was for me, a clarinetist in the orchestra.  I’m not saying, either, that this is anything fatal to the piece.  I just wrily note that Chopin is routinely denigrated for his piano concerti, supposedly because of his lack of skill writing for the orchestra;  but here, posterity has rewarded Schumann, enshrining his Concerto in the standard rep, in spite of the orchestra being (again, just speaking of my impression, taking part in a concert performance of the piece) something of an afterthought.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Alberich

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2017, 05:27:22 AM »
Okay, Symphony no. 1 is better than I remembered. Currently listening to the first movement and I quite like it. Maybe the other movements/symphonies are more to my liking now as well?
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Offline North Star

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #57 on: August 29, 2017, 07:31:48 AM »
Put me down for preferring the Piano Quintet, and probably the Symphonies, over the Piano Concerto.

As for greatest the Schumann work, I'll just copy amw's list for my candidates..

IMO Davidsbündlertänze, Carnaval, the Fantasy, Kreisleriana & Humoreske are top 4, with no clear first choice among them. There aren't any others I would put on the same level, though some that come close (the Eichendorff Liederkreis, the F sharp minor sonata, the Fantasiestücke Op. 12, Dichterliebe, Etudes Symphoniques early version, & the Heine Liederkreis).
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Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2017, 05:52:40 PM »
I'm not a big fan of Schumann, but I really like the Piano quintet, Romances for oboe and piano, Overture - Scherzo and Finale, symphonies 2 through 4, and I find appealing his piano sonatas.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2017, 05:55:06 PM by SymphonicAddict »

Offline kyjo

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Re: Schumann's greatest work?
« Reply #59 on: September 05, 2017, 07:37:07 AM »
Hard choice, but I'd probably opt for his Piano Quartet, especially due to its achingly beautiful slow movement. His Symphony no. 2 and Piano Quintet are close seconds.

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