Schumann's Shoebox

Started by aquablob, April 07, 2007, 08:11:59 AM

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Florestan

Quote from: Mandryka on October 12, 2022, 05:58:20 AM
It was a genuine question about the cello concerto, I find it really quite a challenge. Brahms, Joachim and Clara thought it shouldn't be published.

I like it. It's not on the level of Dvorak but neither as bad as its reputation.
When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

Madiel

Quote from: Florestan on October 12, 2022, 02:08:28 AM
Well, I have started to listen to his complete piano music in this performance:



working my way backwards, from CD 12 to CD1.

After listening to CD 12 and CD11, I have to say that the late works are decidedly not of the same quality as the early ones. The deterioration is obvious on multiple levels: less, if at all, melodic inspiration; less, if at all, striking ideas; more often than not, less expressive, even plainly dull and monotonous. So AFAIC Schumann's late works are indeed nowhere near as good as his early ones.

I didn't specify piano works for late works. The only reason for referring to early piano works was simply that piano works were the only things he was writing. His output in the 1840s and 1850s was far more diverse.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Mandryka

Yo Yo Ma included the Schumann concerto in a recording called "Great Cello Concertos" -- so I guess he likes it.

I know something about Yo Yo Ma from this latest recording of the Bach suites. He can take pretty complicated music and somehow spell it out so clearly that it all makes total sense and is completely clear and easy, agreeable even, to follow.

I must say, I'm glad to have found his recording of the concerto with Colin Davis -- because he does exactly that!


https://www.discogs.com/release/7149...ello-Concertos
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Leo K.

Quote from: Mandryka on November 01, 2022, 10:51:50 AM
Yo Yo Ma included the Schumann concerto in a recording called "Great Cello Concertos" -- so I guess he likes it.

I know something about Yo Yo Ma from this latest recording of the Bach suites. He can take pretty complicated music and somehow spell it out so clearly that it all makes total sense and is completely clear and easy, agreeable even, to follow.

I must say, I'm glad to have found his recording of the concerto with Colin Davis -- because he does exactly that!


https://www.discogs.com/release/7149...ello-Concertos

I'm a fan of Yo Yo Ma's technique and tone - love his Schumann Concerto. I saw him live doing the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No.1 and got to meet him backstage and get his autograph (he signed the cover of his Beethoven Cello Sonatas recording with Emanuel Ax).

Maestro267

I'm not sure Schumann succeeds in any of his concerti. None of them have grabbed me in the way that even his own other music, particularly the symphonies, has.

kyjo

Quote from: Maestro267 on November 02, 2022, 05:55:41 AM
I'm not sure Schumann succeeds in any of his concerti. None of them have grabbed me in the way that even his own other music, particularly the symphonies, has.

The Piano Concerto is undoubtedly the most successful of the three. The Cello Concerto has wonderful moments but suffers from a rather repetitive finale. I don't have very positive memories of the Violin Concerto, but I should revisit it.

That said, my favorite works of his for soloist and orchestra are not his titled concerti, but the Introduction and Allegro appassionato for piano and orchestra (op. 92), the Introduction and Allegro for piano and orchestra (op. 134), and the Konzertstück for 4 horns and orchestra (op. 86). These comparatively little-known works represent some of the best of Schumann, IMO. In particular, the opening of the op. 92 and the ending of the op. 134 are the just sublimely beautiful!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Florestan

Quote from: kyjo on November 02, 2022, 06:20:37 AM
The Piano Concerto is undoubtedly the most successful of the three.

The PC is undoubtedly one of the best piano concertos ever written.
When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

Scion7

Quote from: Maestro267 on November 02, 2022, 05:55:41 AM
I'm not sure Schumann succeeds in any of his concerti.

History has already passed its judgement.   8)
When, a few months before his death, Rachmaninov lamented that he no longer had the "strength and fire" to compose, friends reminded him of the Symphonic Dances, so charged with fire and strength. "Yes," he admitted. "I don't know how that happened. That was probably my last flicker."

kyjo

Quote from: Florestan on November 02, 2022, 06:40:23 AM
The PC is undoubtedly one of the best piano concertos ever written.

It's a great piece, for sure, but it doesn't even make my personal top 10 or 15 PCs, to be honest. 8) What do you think of the opp. 92 and 134 works for piano and orchestra, Andrei? It surprises me how little these wonderful works are discussed, even amongst Schumannites....
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Florestan

Quote from: kyjo on November 02, 2022, 10:05:48 AM
It's a great piece, for sure, but it doesn't even make my personal top 10 or 15 PCs, to be honest. 8) What do you think of the opp. 92 and 134 works for piano and orchestra, Andrei? It surprises me how little these wonderful works are discussed, even amongst Schumannites....

It's been a long time since I haven't listened to them but I remember liking them, though not as much as the PC, which imho is an unimpeachable masterpiece.

When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

Jo498

#570
The oddity about the piano concerto is that it also started out as a "concert piece", namely only the first movement and the other two were later added to make it a full size concerto. I am not sure the late piano concert pieces were ever as popular as they might deserve and nowadays these and similar shortish pieces seem to have fallen out of favor.
(Two of the most prominent cases for this are Weber's Konzertstück f minor and the Symphonic Variations by Franck. Both, especially the latter, were staples for most mid-20th century pianists but have almost vanished in the last 40-50 years.
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal

Maestro267

Schumann's Piano Concerto is certainly nowhere near as memorable as Tchaikovsky 1 or Grieg or any of the other warhorse piano concerti. The ones I mentioned had *instant* hooks, like I'm not even kidding.

Jo498

I think the Schumann clearly belongs to this group of about a half dozen "warhorses" if one looks at recordings and performance statistics, even if the other two might be a bit more immediately appealing. The Grieg was also clearly modelled (in a somewhat superficial way) on the Schumann.
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal

Florestan

Quote from: Maestro267 on November 03, 2022, 01:11:32 AM
Schumann's Piano Concerto is certainly nowhere near as memorable as Tchaikovsky 1 or Grieg or any of the other warhorse piano concerti. The ones I mentioned had *instant* hooks, like I'm not even kidding.

You'd better be kidding, because your statement goes contrary to almost two hundred years of critical consensus and audience popularity. It's precisely because it is as instantly hooking and memorable as Tchaikovsky 1 and Grieg (which actually modelled his own concerto on Schumann's --- and the two are often coupled on recordings) that it has been a staple of the repertoire ever since its premiere and his popularity with pianists and audiences alike have never faded. There is probably no great pianist of the 20th or 21st century which has not recorded or performed it. As for myself, its melodies have imprinted in my head ever since I first heard it and if you wake me up at 3 AM I can play it in my head from start to finish, exactly as I can do the same with Tchaikovsky 1 and Grieg --- and I suspect I am not alone in this.

Frankly, I m greatly puzzled by its unpopularity here, which is yet another proof that GMG is hardly representative for the classical music community at large.  ;D

When I'm creating at the piano, I tend to feel happy; but - the eternal dilemma - how can we be happy amid the unhappiness of others? I'd do everything I could to give everyone a moment of happiness. That's what's at the heart of my music. — Nino Rota

Leo K.

Quote from: Florestan on November 03, 2022, 02:20:40 AM
You'd better be kidding, because your statement goes contrary to almost two hundred years of critical consensus and audience popularity. It's precisely because it is as instantly hooking and memorable as Tchaikovsky 1 and Grieg (which actually modelled his own concerto on Schumann's --- and the two are often coupled on recordings) that it has been a staple of the repertoire ever since its premiere and his popularity with pianists and audiences alike have never faded. There is probably no great pianist of the 20th or 21st century which has not recorded or performed it. As for myself, its melodies have imprinted in my head ever since I first heard it and if you wake me up at 3 AM I can play it in my head from start to finish, exactly as I can do the same with Tchaikovsky 1 and Grieg --- and I suspect I am not alone in this.

Frankly, I m greatly puzzled by its unpopularity here, which is yet another proof that GMG is hardly representative for the classical music community at large.  ;D


I am also puzzled. I could sing the whole thing right here if needed (well, almost haha) - it's chock full of amazing melodies and hooks.

staxomega

Quote from: Florestan on November 03, 2022, 02:20:40 AM
You'd better be kidding, because your statement goes contrary to almost two hundred years of critical consensus and audience popularity. It's precisely because it is as instantly hooking and memorable as Tchaikovsky 1 and Grieg (which actually modelled his own concerto on Schumann's --- and the two are often coupled on recordings) that it has been a staple of the repertoire ever since its premiere and his popularity with pianists and audiences alike have never faded. There is probably no great pianist of the 20th or 21st century which has not recorded or performed it. As for myself, its melodies have imprinted in my head ever since I first heard it and if you wake me up at 3 AM I can play it in my head from start to finish, exactly as I can do the same with Tchaikovsky 1 and Grieg --- and I suspect I am not alone in this.

Frankly, I m greatly puzzled by its unpopularity here, which is yet another proof that GMG is hardly representative for the classical music community at large.  ;D

I have to agree. The three most memorable romantic era piano concerti are Schumann, Rach 2, and 3. I actually avoid listening to the Schumann because it will be stuck in my head for days.

Schumann's symphonies on the other hand are good if generous, bordering on a mess if we're being harsh.

Leo K.

Regarding the symphonies - they move me the most out of all Schumann works, even to tears (they are so amazing).

Jo498

I think the symphonies are mostly very good but somewhat uneven and they suffer a bit from Schumann's inability to successfully do something really orthogonal (or skewed? if this is the technical term, i.e. neither parallel nor orthogonal) to Beethoven (as he was able to do in the case of the piano music and concerto).
What I do find puzzling (as a I probably wrote about 10 times already) are the recent attempts to rehabilitate the violin concerto. Its total neglect for about a century was a bit unfair but the claim now that it is the underappreciated masterpiece seems as bizarre in the opposite direction.
Tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.
- Blaise Pascal

Pohjolas Daughter

Quote from: Florestan on November 02, 2022, 10:16:08 AM
It's been a long time since I haven't listened to them but I remember liking them, though not as much as the PC, which imho is an unimpeachable masterpiece.
+1  :)  That and Grieg's are two of my favorite piano concertos...that said, I do love piano concertos (particularly romantic era ones...but then there's also Mozart).  :D

PD
Pohjolas Daughter

Spotted Horses

Quote from: Maestro267 on November 03, 2022, 01:11:32 AM
Schumann's Piano Concerto is certainly nowhere near as memorable as Tchaikovsky 1 or Grieg or any of the other warhorse piano concerti. The ones I mentioned had *instant* hooks, like I'm not even kidding.

You are confusing your opinion with fact. In my personal opinion, Grieg and Tchaikovsky aren't in the same league as the Schumann.
There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind. - Duke Ellington