Author Topic: Davidsbundlertanze  (Read 19415 times)

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Offline Verena

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #80 on: April 07, 2019, 05:11:57 AM »
Oh yes, I also tried some Bach-Busoni, didn‘t like that all.

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #81 on: April 09, 2019, 01:47:35 PM »
I have always been puzzled by the Schumann Was a Nutcase view.

Here is one of the most prolific composers in history who also managed to edit a music magazine and lead an orchestra.

In addition to this he had a large family.

I would have gone stark raving mad with all those responsibilities, but he kept on, until the sound in his head drove him crazy.

Mad men (or women  -  which were more common in that era) usually are largely unproductive members of society.

I thought the accepted narrative is that mental illness overtook him towards the lend of his life, when he had a breakdown that landed him an asylum.

Offline Herman

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #82 on: April 09, 2019, 10:12:08 PM »
I thought the accepted narrative is that mental illness overtook him towards the lend of his life, when he had a breakdown that landed him an asylum.

Indeed it is, but there are still shitloads of people who continue to say that it's obvious from the start, in his music, that Schumann was crazy.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #83 on: April 09, 2019, 11:39:47 PM »
It's a little more subtle than that. There was a strain among romantics like Schumann that "cultivated" a little craziness, although probably in a subclinical sense. As a not necessarily dark side of creativity, I guess. This is already clear a generation earlier in ETA Hoffmann who drank until hallucinating and wrote several stories where (actually even clinical or criminal) madness is a major topic (and far more where dreams or drink-induced episodes occur) And he is using such language even in innocuous context, e.g. the audience should become ecstatic visionaries "verzückte Geisterseher" in the famous commentary on Beethoven'S 5th.
Cf. also the opium using British writers of that time.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #84 on: April 10, 2019, 12:39:32 AM »
I don’t know that it’s fair to say that Schumann cultivated craziness, on the contrary, he was rather ashamed of his eccentric early music, writing in 1843 of DBT and the Fantasy

Quote from: Schumann to Kossmaly
They are mostly reflections of my turbulent earlier life; with me, man and musician always strove to express themselves simultaneously; it is probably still the same now, though I have admittedly learned to control myself and my art more. How many joys and sorrows lie buried together in these tiny little bundles of notes, your sympathetic heart will find out.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 12:57:05 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #85 on: April 10, 2019, 07:21:50 AM »
Indeed it is, but there are still shitloads of people who continue to say that it's obvious from the start, in his music, that Schumann was crazy.

Seems like he was manic-depressive for most of his adult life. That not what people usually mean by "crazy."

Offline Crudblud

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #86 on: June 03, 2020, 08:53:22 PM »
How's that for luck! Hey, amw, any chance you can repost that list you made?

Offline amw

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #87 on: June 03, 2020, 09:39:08 PM »
Nope! It is gone forever (or at least until the next time I'm thinking about Davidsbündlertänzen). Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted...

Offline Crudblud

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #88 on: June 03, 2020, 11:00:29 PM »
Aw, well, at least I have the memories. Thanks again for going to the trouble, even if the results were shortlived. The only names I can remember (aside from the ubiquitous) are Geza Anda and Florian Uhlig, but that should be enough for now.

Offline Iota

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #89 on: June 05, 2020, 11:17:31 AM »
Worthwhile essay I thought here

So did I. Thanks for posting.

Offline amw

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #90 on: June 07, 2020, 03:40:02 AM »
Revived version of the list, this time with 99 various recordings I've turned up, some of which appear self-published. Not a complete survey by any means, just covers what can be found thru streaming + 1 or 2 things I have myself.

Notes on the versions:

Two major sets of changes were made between 1837 and 1850: 1) the musical text was changed, typically in order to make chords fuller and more pianistic as well as get rid of some dissonances. Some of the many ritardandi are removed as well. The most obvious change is the end of No. 9, which is one bar shorter. 2) A large number of repeats were added throughout the piece, making it significantly longer. Some of these repeats significantly alter the transitory and fleeting character of certain passages (this is most noticeable in Nos. 1, 3 and 15), in an attempt to make them sound more "normal", which usually fails.

I mention these separately because there's a strong tendency for pianists to pick and choose separately. Pianists who play the 1837 text with the 1850 repeats generally seem to approve of the more eccentric and less virtuosic 1837 character but want to regularise the large-scale structure; pianists who play the 1850 text with the 1837 repeats seem to prefer the more brilliant 1850 character but also understand the 1837 repeat structure as fundamentally important to the nature of the piece. (Or they were recording on 78s and didn't have that much room.)

My preference is almost exclusively for the 1837 version, but there are of course several great recordings of the more common 1850 version as well.

Offline amw

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #91 on: June 07, 2020, 03:46:30 AM »
Revived version of the list, this time with 99 various recordings I've turned up, some of which appear self-published. Not a complete survey by any means, just covers what can be found thru streaming + 1 or 2 things I have myself.

Notes on the versions:

Two major sets of changes were made between 1837 and 1850: 1) the musical text was changed, typically in order to make chords fuller and more pianistic as well as get rid of some dissonances. Some of the many ritardandi are removed as well. The most obvious change is the end of No. 9, which is one bar shorter. 2) A large number of repeats were added throughout the piece, making it significantly longer. Some of these repeats significantly alter the transitory and fleeting character of certain passages (this is most noticeable in Nos. 1, 3 and 15), in an attempt to make them sound more "normal", which usually fails.

I mention these separately because there's a strong tendency for pianists to pick and choose separately. Pianists who play the 1837 text with the 1850 repeats generally seem to approve of the more eccentric and less virtuosic 1837 character but want to regularise the large-scale structure; pianists who play the 1850 text with the 1837 repeats seem to prefer the more brilliant 1850 character but also understand the 1837 repeat structure as fundamentally important to the nature of the piece. (Or they were recording on 78s and didn't have that much room.)

My preference is almost exclusively for the 1837 version, but there are of course several great recordings of the more common 1850 version as well.
Also here's a short list of preferences from me

Top 5
Anda (either one, slight preference for DG)
Kempff/EMI (not DG)
Pollini (either one)
Ugorski
Zacharias

Other recommendations
Arrau
Biss/Wigmore Hall Live
Ciani
Collard
Cortot
Haefliger
Hough
Uchida
Zhu

Offline Crudblud

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #92 on: June 07, 2020, 07:02:58 AM »
Thank you so much for bringing the list back, I'm looking forward to exploring both versions.

Online Brian

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #93 on: June 09, 2020, 05:27:13 AM »
Thank you, amw - I just saved the big list file in case the forum crashes again soon...

Online vers la flamme

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #94 on: June 09, 2020, 03:17:05 PM »
Maybe I just haven't heard the right recordings, but for some reason I don't put Davidsbündlertänze in anywhere near the same category as, say, Carnaval or Kreisleriana. It just doesn't seem to be as coherent, or as good, as those other two works. Does anyone want to show me the light with a recording that's so good, I won't be able to deny its greatness?  :D

For what it's worth, the ones I've heard include Perahia, Hewitt, and Zacharias.

Online Brian

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #95 on: June 09, 2020, 03:23:22 PM »
To figure out what you are currently missing or desiring from recordings - is it mostly "coherence" particularly? Structure? Any other deficiency a great pianist could try to correct?

I ask because someone like amw is probably in a position to recommend a recording for every taste and sensibility!

Offline amw

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #96 on: June 09, 2020, 07:43:32 PM »
Actually my first recommendation would probably be Charles Rosen's analysis of DBT in The Romantic Generation—for those without institutional access, it's pages 223-236 within this chapter.

It was difficult for me to find recordings that successfully brought out the structure of the larger work while also preserving its essential qualities of madness and eccentricity, but I was probably lucky in that my first exposure to the piece was a rebroadcast of the Kempff 1963 (EMI) performance on Mezzo TV and one of the first recordings I obtained was the Géza Anda: Troubadour of the Piano DG box set (although virtually every recording in that box is Best In Class for its particular composition), so I've been prejudiced towards it for a long time.

It is the second most difficult of Schumann's works for the piano (after the Symphonic Etudes) which probably contributes to its relatively lesser prominence and reputation.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #97 on: June 09, 2020, 11:07:45 PM »
It's less obviously virtuoso and spectactular than Carnaval and the Symphonic Etudes and not as obviously "deep" and darkish as Kreisleriana.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Online vers la flamme

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #98 on: June 10, 2020, 01:17:42 AM »
Actually my first recommendation would probably be Charles Rosen's analysis of DBT in The Romantic Generation—for those without institutional access, it's pages 223-236 within this chapter.

It was difficult for me to find recordings that successfully brought out the structure of the larger work while also preserving its essential qualities of madness and eccentricity, but I was probably lucky in that my first exposure to the piece was a rebroadcast of the Kempff 1963 (EMI) performance on Mezzo TV and one of the first recordings I obtained was the Géza Anda: Troubadour of the Piano DG box set (although virtually every recording in that box is Best In Class for its particular composition), so I've been prejudiced towards it for a long time.

It is the second most difficult of Schumann's works for the piano (after the Symphonic Etudes) which probably contributes to its relatively lesser prominence and reputation.

Wow, what a resource—thanks! I intend to buy this book sometime, it actually looks like somewhat of an easier read than Rosen's companion book The Classical Style, which I have but have not yet been able to make my way through it. I'll have to check out Anda, if I can find it. As for Kempff, how do you feel about his DG recording? I have been vaguely considering that Kempff/Schumann box set.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Davidsbundlertanze
« Reply #99 on: June 10, 2020, 02:22:49 AM »
The Romantic Generation is overall more difficult than The classical style, I'd say. But it is very different in such that it has almost nontechnical chapters that are closer to general cultural history (Mountains and Song cycles)  and some very technical ones (on Chopin etudes or so). So as a layman one can skip (most of) the latter ones and still profit from the earlier ones whereas in The classical style one tends to need scores and a pretty good familiarity with the respective pieces to follow the argument at all.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)