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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: cliftwood on July 16, 2009, 11:48:06 AM

Title: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: cliftwood on July 16, 2009, 11:48:06 AM
I believe that the Fantasie, Op.17, of all his compositions for the piano, represents best his superb ability to compose for the keyboard.

I know that it's a tough call, considering his wealth of great works, but it's the one I's select, if I only had one choice.

I'll now duck for cover. ;D
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: hornteacher on July 16, 2009, 11:52:20 AM
Personally I would select either Carnaval or the Piano Concerto, but that's just me.  You could just as easily make a case for Fantasie.  Its fortunate for us he wrote so much good stuff.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Todd on July 16, 2009, 12:03:54 PM
The Fantasie is not a crazy choice, and certainly shouldn't draw negative remarks, though I'd opt for Carnaval if forced to choose.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: DavidRoss on July 16, 2009, 12:05:05 PM
I believe that the Fantasie, Op.17, of all his compositions for the piano, represents best his superb ability to compose for the keyboard.

I know that it's a tough call, considering his wealth of great works, but it's the one I's select, if I only had one choice.

I'll now duck for cover. ;D
I'm not that well acquainted with Schumann's music, since most of what I have heard has struck me as derivative and uninspired, even turgid.  I do, however, like his Piano Quintet, op 44, very much, as one of the most persistently light and gay chamber pieces I know.  I also rather like both Carnaval and the op 12 Fantasie, though neither measures up in my mind to the music of his great predecessors or those who came after.  I do not know the op 17 but will keep an ear out for it--and for whatever other pieces respondents here praise.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Brian on July 16, 2009, 12:07:21 PM
If I had to choose exactly 1 Schumann work to keep in my collection by a Schumann-obsessed burglar, I would keep the Fantasie in C Op. 17. Whether that means it's the greatest ... well, who knows. :) The songs I've heard are wonderful, which is interesting because I am usually not at all a fan of vocal music.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Scarpia on July 16, 2009, 12:56:49 PM
If I had to choose exactly 1 Schumann work to keep in my collection by a Schumann-obsessed burglar, I would keep the Fantasie in C Op. 17. Whether that means it's the greatest ... well, who knows. :) The songs I've heard are wonderful, which is interesting because I am usually not at all a fan of vocal music.

Schumann has been rising steadily in my estimation, but not because of the widely admired (here anyway) Fantasie in C, which almost drowned my Schumann enthusiasm.  The chamber music with piano and concerto are outstanding, but if I had to choose one work of Schumann's to keep it would probably be the Symphony #4 (in it's original version).  A close second might be the Symphony #1.   When played well the thickness or monotony of orchestration which is frequently decried in Schumann's symphonies works drops away.   They really are fresh and imaginative works, to my ears.  Lately I find Schumann a worthy successor to Beethoven in his symphonic output.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Bulldog on July 16, 2009, 01:35:30 PM
I'd choose the Davidsbundlertanze followed closely by Kreisleriana and Kinderzenen.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: cliftwood on July 16, 2009, 02:50:20 PM
I'm not that well acquainted with Schumann's music, since most of what I have heard has struck me as derivative and uninspired, even turgid.  I do, however, like his Piano Quintet, op 44, very much, as one of the most persistently light and gay chamber pieces I know.  I also rather like both Carnaval and the op 12 Fantasie, though neither measures up in my mind to the music of his great predecessors or those who came after.  I do not know the op 17 but will keep an ear out for it--and for whatever other pieces respondents here praise.

Since you are "not that well acquainted with Schumann's music", I'm really curious in knowing what music strikes you as "derivative, uninspired and turgid".

My suspicion is that your ranking of Schumann as a lesser composer will not jibe with the opinion of most of the folks on this forum.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: ChamberNut on July 16, 2009, 03:20:32 PM
My suspicion is that your ranking of Schumann as a lesser composer will not jibe with the opinion of most of the folks on this forum.

Agreed.  Personally, I like his Piano Concerto and Cello Concerto, with the Piano Quintet the best.  Also the 1st and 3rd string quartet, and all the symphonies I enjoy equally (some of my favorite early Romantic era symphonies).
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: DavidRoss on July 16, 2009, 03:25:56 PM
Since you are "not that well acquainted with Schumann's music", I'm really curious in knowing what music strikes you as "derivative, uninspired and turgid".

My suspicion is that your ranking of Schumann as a lesser composer will not jibe with the opinion of most of the folks on this forum.
The orchestral music, like the piano concerto, the violin concerto, & the symphonies especially (the cello concerto is a bit more appealing, but still hardly rises to the level of the best, such as the Elgar, the Dvorak, or the Prokofiev near-VCC).  Also the song cycles I've heard, like Frauenliebe und -leben, & Dichterliebe have been rather disappointing given the high regard so many seem to have for them.  The best I've heard from him is, as suggested above, some of the solo piano music and chamber music.  

I'm willing to be converted, but mostly what I've heard has been the stuff that most folks have recommended over the years and it just hasn't much excited me, Harris.  If you have any other suggestions I'll be glad to consider them.  (By the way, I have op 17 cued up for listening later if I get the opportunity to give it my undivided attention.)
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: George on July 16, 2009, 05:40:14 PM
Kinderszenen has always been my favorite.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: ChamberNut on July 16, 2009, 05:43:42 PM
Kinderszenen has always been my favorite.

Terrific!  I also like the Waldszenen very much.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: snyprrr on July 16, 2009, 07:27:36 PM
Cello Concerto in A minor (orch. Shostakovich) ;D
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Nick on July 16, 2009, 07:48:21 PM
The Symphonische Etuden, Op.13 with the posthumous etudes is an easy favorite for me, as is the Kreisleriana, Op.16.

I'd have to relisten to the Hyperion Schumann Edition to pick out a song cycle. I also remember being particularly impressed by his pieces for solo chorus. Almost everything among the lieder, to me, is sublime.

The Sonata for Violin and Piano, No.1, Op.105 is a wonderful piece, and really disproves the whole idea about Schumann getting on in years.

There's too many fantastic pieces to pick out a best.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: The new erato on July 16, 2009, 09:46:27 PM
The Symphonische Etuden, Op.13 with the posthumous etudes is an easy favorite for me, as is the Kreisleriana, Op.16.

I'd have to relisten to the Hyperion Schumann Edition to pick out a song cycle. I also remember being particularly impressed by his pieces for solo chorus. Almost everything among the lieder, to me, is sublime.

The Sonata for Violin and Piano, No.1, Op.105 is a wonderful piece, and really disproves the whole idea about Schumann getting on in years.

There's too many fantastic pieces to pick out a best.
We are very close in taste here I see. The op 13 and 16 are my favorites as well, besides the songs, particularly the major cycles. The violin sonata is one seriously unerrated sonata as well, with some beautiful, yearning melancholy.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Florestan on July 16, 2009, 10:46:16 PM
Schumann is one my favorite composers so it's very hard to pick only one work. All those previously mentioned are good candidates.

Three Romances for Oboe and Piano op. 94, anyone?
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: The new erato on July 16, 2009, 10:53:15 PM
Schumann is one my favorite composers so it's very hard to pick only one work. All those previously mentioned are good candidates.

Three Romances for Oboe and Piano op. 94, anyone?
I've just heard them at the Risør Chamber Music Festival played by Francois Leieux and Leiv Ove Andsnes.

I'm not really surprised that you like Schumann, Florestan. Is there an Eusebius somewhere?
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Florestan on July 16, 2009, 11:02:09 PM
I've just heard them at the Risør Chamber Music Festival played by Francois Leieux and Leiv Ove Andsnes.

How did you like them? They never fail to impress me, especially the first one. I confess that for me it has strong extra-musical associations, but the pieces  themelves are very rewarding, I think.

I'm not really surprised that you like Schumann, Florestan. Is there an Eusebius somewhere?

Oh, yes, he's inside my brain watching as I type.  :)
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Scarpia on July 17, 2009, 05:06:50 AM
Schumann is one my favorite composers so it's very hard to pick only one work. All those previously mentioned are good candidates.

Three Romances for Oboe and Piano op. 94, anyone?

A preferred recording for these?  I notice they are frequently played with modified instrumentation (i.e., violin, viola or clarinet instead of oboe).
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Florestan on July 17, 2009, 05:21:56 AM
A preferred recording for these?  I notice they are frequently played with modified instrumentation (i.e., violin, viola or clarinet instead of oboe).


I have two recording of them:

Heinz Holliger & Alfred Brendel:

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/CDUCoverArt/Music/40/2465040.jpg)

Pierre Pierlot & Jean Hubeau, in a Erato set of Schumann's complete chamber music:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/417WPA4RQ5L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Both have their merits and I wouldn't pick one on the other.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Franco on July 17, 2009, 05:39:29 AM
Papillons is my favorite Schumann work, hands down.  But I generally prefer him in chamber music over the orchestral works, including the concertos.  I remember buying the Bernstein recording of the four symphonies back when it first came out (on LP) and reading all about the "flawed orchestration", and I guess that prejudiced me against the large works and I have not ever gone back and revisited them. 

But the songs, quintets, quartets, trios, are all some of my favorite alternatives to Beethoven, Haydn & Mozart which dominate my regular listening.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Scarpia on July 17, 2009, 09:40:25 AM
Papillons is my favorite Schumann work, hands down.  But I generally prefer him in chamber music over the orchestral works, including the concertos.  I remember buying the Bernstein recording of the four symphonies back when it first came out (on LP) and reading all about the "flawed orchestration", and I guess that prejudiced me against the large works and I have not ever gone back and revisited them. 

But the songs, quintets, quartets, trios, are all some of my favorite alternatives to Beethoven, Haydn & Mozart which dominate my regular listening.

Perhaps Schumann's orchestration sounds flawed under Berstein's baton.  On the other hand, most music sounds flawed when Bernstein is on the podium, in my opinion.   8)
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Lethevich on July 17, 2009, 10:00:31 AM
I'd choose the Davidsbundlertanze followed closely by Kreisleriana and Kinderzenen.

Same here! But with Carnaval, Papillons, the Symphonic Etudes and the PC added on the end. Err... perhaps too many for a title asking for a singular choice 0:)
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Bruckner is God on July 17, 2009, 10:15:26 AM
My personal favourites are the Liederkreis, op. 39 and the 4th symphony.
Schumann is a composer I have grown to love over the years.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: val on July 18, 2009, 12:19:26 AM
My choice: the Kreisleriana, Schumann's most visionary and contrasted work.

After the Kreisleriana my choice would go to the Fantasia opus 17, the Etudes Symphoniques, the 2nd Symphony and the Overture from Manfred.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Herman on July 18, 2009, 12:53:44 AM
This is a really tough question for me. My favorite would be easy. That would be the Davidsbündlertänze.

Kreisleriana and the Op 17 Fantaisie do come to mind when one thinks of greatness, but...

Humor and boisterousness were part of Schumann's greatness, too, and this immense gift of making the listener feel you're really one on one with Schumann as a person (one of several things that makes him greater than Beethoven to me).

Let's pick symphony 4 (revised version) now, as a piece that's both grand, intimate and terribly funny, and another one later.
Title: Re: Schumann
Post by: Wanderer on July 18, 2009, 01:00:35 AM
Can't choose just one, sorry.

Let me mention, however, the wonderful op.92 Konzertstück (potential first movement of a second piano concerto) and - a perennial favourite -  the Second Symphony. Also Carnaval, Fantasie, Kreisleriana, piano quintet, first violin sonata... ... ...
Title: Re: Schumann
Post by: George on July 18, 2009, 03:08:33 AM
Can't choose just one, sorry.

I can't recall if I said this already, but I find that Schumann's works are at a consistently high level, without one work standing head and shoulders above the rest, so I can certainly understand your position here.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: bwv 1080 on July 18, 2009, 07:09:55 AM
Humoreske is my favorite piano work, although Arabesque is a close second

the Am string quartet IMO is the greatest of the romantic-period
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: The new erato on July 19, 2009, 08:32:49 AM
How did you like them? They never fail to impress me, especially the first one. I confess that for me it has strong extra-musical associations, but the pieces  themelves are very rewarding, I think.

I've known them for 30 years....

And yes, they have an innocent, pastoral quality hat I really like.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: DavidRoss on July 20, 2009, 03:13:29 PM
This is a really tough question for me. My favorite would be easy. That would be the Davidsbündlertänze.

Kreisleriana and the Op 17 Fantaisie do come to mind when one thinks of greatness, but...
This morning I listened to the Davidsbündlertänze played by Di Wu from the Cliburn competition recordings streamed from NPR's site http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104883567 (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104883567).  I liked it in much the same way that I like the Piano Quintet:  pleasant and entertaining enough, but certainly not "goosebump" material.  I'm less satisfied by the op 17 Fantasie, but have only Horowitz and have just ordered a copy of Kissin's along with Kreisleriana.  I'll listen to all of them from time to time over the next few weeks--thanks.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 20, 2009, 03:27:52 PM
Still trying to 'refine' my Schumann Solo Piano music collection - think that I'm getting there -  :)

My most recent arrival is a 2-CD set w/ Eric le Sage, who is putting together a collection of solo/chamber works of Schumann; these recordings include Humoreske; Bunte Blätter; Etudes symphoniques; and Piano Sonata, Op. 11 - this is my first purchase of le Sage's efforts to record all of these particular works - any comments?   :)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/313P-ekdfvL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Bulldog on July 20, 2009, 05:00:49 PM
This morning I listened to the Davidsbündlertänze played by Di Wu from the Cliburn competition recordings streamed from NPR's site http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104883567 (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104883567).  I liked it in much the same way that I like the Piano Quintet:  pleasant and entertaining enough, but certainly not "goosebump" material. 

Sorry you feel that way; I think that the Davidsbundertanze is a total "goosebump" work.  If you haven't, check out Gieseking and Backhaus;  Gieseking is a wild man while Backhaus is utterly primitive.  If a more well-balanced presentation is your preference, give Anne Schein a visit.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Air on July 22, 2009, 11:56:13 AM
Grand Sonata No. 3, Piano Sonata No. 2, Dichterliebe, Kreislerana, Davidsbundlertanze, Piano Quintet, Violin Concerto, Carnaval, Papillons and Fantasy in C are all among my favorite works, but i'll make a case for the

Op. 54 Klavierkonzert

because I think it displays Schumann the composer at his most balanced: mature but not yet insane, a near-perfect blend between his pianistic and orchestral abilities, and at the same time one of the best examples of the "Schumannesque" quality.

Though Op. 1 and Op. 2 are pretty darn good for the first two opuses of any composer...
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: jochanaan on July 22, 2009, 05:37:46 PM
...Three Romances for Oboe and Piano op. 94, anyone?
Of course! ;D Scarpia and Florestan, I've heard the Holliger but not the Pierlot; however, the Holliger is certainly worthy and I imagine the Pierlot is too.  But I wonder if Ray Still or John de Lancie, longtime oboists for the Chicago Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra, respectively, ever recorded these Romances?  I prefer their tone to Holliger and Pierlot.

Of the Schumann orchestral works, my favorites are the Piano Concerto, Symphonies #1 and #2, and the Manfred Overture.  I confess I'm not well acquainted with much of his solo piano music aside from Kinderszenen, but I do like the Quintet.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Nick on July 23, 2009, 04:53:52 PM
Though Op. 1 and Op. 2 are pretty darn good for the first two opuses of any composer...

The Op.1 is quite delightful! I've got it on cassette tape with Kissin in his Carnegie Hall debut along with the Symphonische Etuden, Op.13.

It may be a little bit flashy, but it's a real delight. The Op.11 is my personal favorite among the sonatas, but I'm very strongly attracted to the others. That first sonata I even prefer in most respects to the Fantasie, Op.17.

He's really quite overlooked, especially since I see Schumann as having such incredible potential to give pleasure.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: cliftwood on July 23, 2009, 05:39:58 PM
I'd recommend a wonderful rendition of the Schumann Fantasie, recorded by the superb pianist, Arnaldo Cohen.

This disc is coupled with one of the finest performances ever of the Brahms Handel Variations.

One of my all time favorite CDs.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Bulldog on July 23, 2009, 06:05:28 PM
I'd recommend a wonderful rendition of the Schumann Fantasie, recorded by the superb pianist, Arnaldo Cohen.

This disc is coupled with one of the finest performances ever of the Brahms Handel Variations.

One of my all time favorite CDs.

One of mine also.  It's a shame that Cohen doesn't get much exposure.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Holden on July 23, 2009, 11:47:14 PM
Op 17 is way up there for me and is the Schumann work I play/listen to most often. That said, Kreisleriana is so profound in the right hands that I rate it alongside the Fantasie.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Turner on August 25, 2017, 08:22:59 PM
(bump)

The Piano Concerto and the Davidsbündlertänze.

But there are so many fine works there.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: amw on August 26, 2017, 01:07:47 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).
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Mandryka on August 26, 2017, 03:09:54 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.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: amw on August 26, 2017, 03:41:26 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
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Mandryka on August 26, 2017, 03:46:40 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.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: amw on August 26, 2017, 03:55:46 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.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Omicron9 on August 27, 2017, 06:38:42 AM
For me, it is his string quartets.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Alberich on August 28, 2017, 04:28:42 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.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 28, 2017, 04:36:47 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.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: bwv 1080 on August 28, 2017, 04:39:52 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

Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 29, 2017, 12:15:01 AM
Probably the piano concerto

Nnnnoooo.

The piano quintet, much more likely.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: zamyrabyrd on August 29, 2017, 12:57:40 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.

Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Jo498 on August 29, 2017, 01:04:41 AM
My favorite chamber piece from this composer is probably the piano *quartet* although the more brilliant and extravert quintet is also great.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Mandryka on August 29, 2017, 01:06:57 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.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: ritter on August 29, 2017, 01:09:17 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).
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 29, 2017, 04:15:19 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.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: Alberich on August 29, 2017, 04:27:22 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?
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: North Star on August 29, 2017, 06:31:48 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).
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 01, 2017, 04:52:40 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.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: kyjo on September 05, 2017, 06:37:07 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.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: JCBuckley on September 05, 2017, 07:10:51 AM
For me, Davidsbündlertänze, the Fantasy & Kreisleriana
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: some guy on September 05, 2017, 08:15:56 AM
I try to ignore threads like this, and sometimes I fail.

So here's my failing contribution: I did not know that Schumann's works were in competition with each other.

(And what happens when there's a winner? Can there be a winner? Is the adjudicating body a legitimate organization with powers of enforcement? Is there a prize? How does the winning piece, which is a non-sentient entity, collect the prize?

Oh, there are sooooo many questions....)
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 05, 2017, 08:38:35 AM
Oh, there are sooooo many questions....

Aye.
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: millionrainbows on September 05, 2017, 11:30:31 AM
I think his greatest work is this one, in the original version presented here:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51YjubUVBtL._SX425_.jpg)

Hey some guy, do you always take questions like this literally, or do you sometimes let down the facade and play nicely with the other children?
Title: Re: Schumann's greatest work?
Post by: yekov on October 13, 2017, 02:06:16 PM
His Piano Quintet